‘Having a child with physical disabilities means that almost all of the hopes and dreams you planned while pregnant to experience with them will never happen. The simplest of things, like a walk along the beach or rough and tumble play are an exhausting experience for one or both of you. BUT, what replaces those dreams is a higher level of ACCEPTANCE and APPRECIATION of LIFE at the most single level. The overwhelming emotion of watching their achievements builds a union, bond, and friendship that will last a lifetime. I remember crying tears of joy watching her at school trying to do sign language to a Christmas carol while holding on for dear life to her walking frame. Her squeezing my hand every week to handle the pain of deep tissue physio and telling me a joke at the same time. Her bravery going through multi-level surgery on both legs, because she trusts my judgment when I tell her it will help her walk. The future I see for my daughter is absolutely anything she wants, while I hold her hand to make it happen. I would lay my naked body down in a second to cover the cut glass of this life, just for her steps to be pain-free – because she is a beautiful human being and my greatest inspiration.’
Jennifer White, Photographer and mother of Caitlan, Sydney NSW Australia, 2002
Caitlan who is 13 years old, has just undergone Multi-Level surgery (June 4, 2002, three days after this image was created) to correct the alignment in both legs. A team of Two Specialists with 4 assisting Doctors, 4 Anesthetists and 8 special theatre nurses and sisters worked on Caitlan. 5 hours 45 minutes. She is currently on 4 forms of pain medication on a 4 hourly basis. She begins weight bearing in 4 weeks but is not anticipated to walk again for 8 – 12 months.