Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Judith Iris Quate for a summer series highlighting writers who focus on disability.
In 1979 I gave birth to twin boys who were two months premature. They were immediately intubated and rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The next day one of the twins, Michae,l was weaned off the respirator and slowly recovered with the best care NICU can provide, until he was discharged two months later.
Unfortunately Jason’s recovery was not that simple. His left lung collapsed the day after birth and one week later he experienced an intraventricular brain hemorrhage. He was unable to be weaned off the respirator after six weeks. His prognosis was considered very poor. The respirator was supporting his lungs yet at the same time, the longer he was relying on the respirator, the higher chance of another hemorrhage to his brain which would probably be fatal.
Fortunately he was weaned off the respirator and was discharged after four months in the NICU.
Thirty-five years later I felt a strong need to introduce Jason to the world, to create awareness about what life is like having a son with a disability. I wanted people to meet a special child, a young man and finally, an adult. Together, him and I have overcame many hurdles, some I feel no mother should have to experience. I did not know that this was what God had in store for us, but in these years I have learned take his precious gift, my son, and learn from the challenges.
This is why I wrote my book, Our Special Child: Jason’s Story. I wrote it so the world would meet a special person, but most importantly, Jason and I want to share our experiences with the hope that his story can educate, support, and mentor other parents who are just learning how to care for their child with special needs.
I want to connect with other mothers and affirm them that I understand what it is like to the little hurdles as well as the big ones.
Every parent should know and be reminded they are not alone.
Judith Iris Quate graduated from the school of hard knocks with a degree in life experiences. This is her first book. She wants to reach out and propagate disability awareness, from a mother’s point of view, to support professionals and parents caring for special needs children.