Where it all began
Sue and her husband adopted Hannah when she was four and a half months old. She had various problems and couldn’t talk.
At the age of nine, Sue took her out of school because she was being bullied and so Hannah went to a special needs school. Hannah held down a job in the care sector for 10 years until her health dictated otherwise. For the last two years, she has been wheelchair dependant.
Sue tells us:
“I’ve always had to be there for Hannah. Helping her with paperwork and everyday things. But about 12 years ago when she got the cancer and her neurofibromatosis condition got progressively worse, that’s when we needed to provide more care.
“I’ve always had to be there for her with her learning difficulties; I had to push for her needs at school.”
Sue and her husband state that Hannah is a very special and courageous daughter.
Facing the start of lockdown…
Normally, Hannah goes to a day centre once a week, but it has been closed throughout the pandemic. Sue tells us how much Hannah has missed going to the day centre, which was her source of social interaction.
“It’s been hard, I’ve done her shopping and cleaned everything and left it outside so she has to put it away. We’ve spent a lot of time outside, sometimes in the rain, sitting on the patio whilst Hannah remained inside her flat, so that she has someone to talk to. She is down and depressed because she has nothing to do and nowhere to go.”
… and the prospect of another six months
“She was so looking forward to going to Revitalise Sandpipers in June, but that was cancelled. Now she is waiting for an operation so I wouldn’t want her to go at the moment. She is hoping to be at Sandpipers on her 40th birthday next June – it’s how she wants to celebrate! She feels completely comfortable at Revitalise, she feels like a person there.
“Hannah would love to be able to take a break. She needs to be able to start socialising again. You end up becoming a bit of a recluse having been shut in all that time. A break would be a step in the right direction to getting back into the community again.”
A break for Sue
“For me, a break would be lovely. I would be happy knowing Hannah is happy and getting back to being Hannah again. I don’t go anywhere because I’m frightened of passing COVID-19 on, but because Hannah can’t pop up to the shop for anything she needs, I just feel I have to be here all the time.”
We have spoken to many disabled people and carers in similar situations to Hannah & Sue, and their needs must be put first by the government to give them the break they desperately need.
If you would like to help support people like Hannah & Sue gain vital access to a break, please donate to our Raise a Million fundraising appeal here.