A person’s a person – no matter how small


The recent debate over the Facebook cartoon character avatars
generated some emotion. For those of you that missed it. People were changing their pictures to show support for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) against child abuse. For me it served as a reminder that Christmas
is not a great time of year for everyone!
This post is graphic and could lose me some followers, but I don’t
believe in censorship so here goes.
When I was a student nurse I had to work in paediatrics over
Christmas. I had no experience with kids and was overwhelmed.
Christmas week we were told of a new admission. Nothing could have
prepared me for it. We admitted a child who had been kept in a cage!
Desperately malnourished and dirty. The child was 2 but had no words,
just animalistic sounds. They couldn’t walk. There were injuries,
which I won’t describe, other than to say the least horrific was the
tip of the nose appeared to have been bitten off.
For the next few days a team of us attended to the urgent medical and
basic life threatening needs. We tried to comfort and groom her. On
Christmas eve a foster family came to take the little one. They
brought new clothes and a gift. Looking back she must have been
petrified. It took me a long, long time, to not think of that child
everyday.
A couple of years later, I had almost completed my training. I was
doing some rounds with a district nurse. We went to visit a family. I
thought the women looked familiar, but I couldn’t place her. I started
reading the case notes and couldn’t believe we were there to see that
same child. My heart started pounding, In anticipation. Suddenly, out
of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of gold. There coming down the
stairs was a vibrant little girl with golden ringlets! She ran to her
foster mum who could not get a word in edge ways. Needless to say I
cried all the way home!
We don’t all have the skills to have nursed that child back to health.
We don’t all have the resilience to cope with such traumas. If I’ve
learnt anything this week it’s that even if we are not capable of
being practically involved, as a collective voice it shows that the
issue is forefront in people’s minds. That it is not being ignored and
that awareness or changing your Facebook avatar may not solve anything, but it may just make people sit up and think..

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About yorkshiremummy

Born and Raised in Yorkshire, Now at Large in North America. Working Wife and Mum of 2. Occasionally sarcastic, Often inappropriate, but always real! Having snorkeled with sharks in the Maldives, ridden an Elephant in Sri Lanka, swum in an underground river in Mexico and played with Lion cubs in South Africa, currently enjoying the crazy adventure of motherhood!
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14 Responses to A person’s a person – no matter how small

  1. wow. i cant even imagine. that would have been devastating to see. i am so grateful there are caring & wonderful foster parents in this world ❤

  2. Him Up North says:

    Very emotional piece, YM. You must have had the toughest job in the world too. Very emotionally draining work, I imagine. I’m sure you can’t separate the clinical from the compassionate in such cases. Great that the outcome was so positive. 🙂

  3. Mandi says:

    Thanks for bringing up an important issue at a time when it is all too easy to get buried in our own selfish obsession with gifts, stuffing recipes and wrapping paper.

    It highlights (among other things) that despite the fact that 99% of people are basically well-meaning decent folk just trying their best, there are some real monsters out there. But I still can’t believe anyone is ‘born bad’ so I can’t help wondering what made them that way… but that’s another story.

    Perhaps what struck me most, however, was the fact that foster parents are some of the great unsung heroes of modern society. If it had not been for the love, patience and dedication of her foster parents, the best she could have hoped for would be a feral existance in some kind of institution. Foster parents take on the toughest of cases, with no guarantee of returned love and even permanence in the relationship they forge with the children in their care. (Sure, there are some bad apples, but the vast majority would make Mother Theresa look selfish).

    I shall be raising a glass in honour of these unsung heroes this Christmas. They are among those who work selflessly to help break the vicious circle of abuse and misery that otherwise would make yet another abuser out of an abused child.

    Mandi.

    • You’re so right about the unsung heroes. As for being born bad, I can only talk about facts and in my experience all the abusers I dealt with had experienced something themselves. That is no excuse though, how do we break the cycle? Maybe

  4. Daddy G says:

    That’s a fantastic story: a horrible startbut a great ending. Those foster parents must have done a fantastic job. Abused children, especially that expreme, are ususally traumatised by their experieinces & can be very difficult. Sadly, this is more common than most people imagine, as I’m sure you’re aware. The Baby P’s of this world, who the media latch onto, sadly are just the tip of the iceberg.

    I have some experience in this, but I can’t talk about it.

    A great post. Thank you rasising this issue, especially at this time of year: which for many poeple is a far from happy one.

    • Just watching the debate last week brought it all back for me. There are many other stories I could have told. Obviously her physical wounds had healed but the mental healing had only just begun.. Thanks for reading it and your comments 🙂

  5. Kate says:

    Wow. It just goes to show what difference love can make to a child.

    What a truly wonderful story. Heartwarming.

  6. Soosyab says:

    Thanks for sharing. Surely you wouldn’t want followers who would be put off by a post like this.

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