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Branwens Story

I remember when I realised I was caring for my Mum, but I did not understand that I was a carer.

I heard a noise and went into my mum’s room and found her on the floor having an epileptic seizure and a asthma attack together. The left side of her face had dropped I thought she was having a stroke. I first made sure that there were no dangerous objects around her and I put cushions and pillows around her to stop her from hurting herself. The seizure lasted for over five minutes, I did not call an ambulance because I knew she did

not like hospitals and that affected her recovery.  When she had finished the seizure I started helping her to get up, it was then that I realised that caring for my mother would be something I was responsible for.  

I knew then that when mum was not well it was me and my sister that looked after our mum, but I did not know that there was a name for what we did.  It was not until I was fifteen that I realised that we were carers. Growing up neither of us were given any support because no one thought of a disabled person being a carer.  I look back and I wish that there was someone there that had spoken up me and told me that there were people out there who could help us. 

Social Services knew that me and my sister were carers for my mum, and they knew we had a complex disability.  The schools we went to, knew my mum had epileptic seizures.  Somehow no one seemed to understand what this meant for us. Our teachers knew about the situation but never offered me any type of extra help in school.  Rhonnie has learning disabilities, we both suffer from anxiety.    The wellbeing of our mum is important to us.  We  worry about her, I remember thinking will she die next time?  This is a lot to deal with for a healthy child, but for one challenged by multiple and complex disabilities it was frightening. The stress that I lived with impacted greatly on my already poor health. 

 I want to speak up for those in my position and spread an awareness of the needs of the young disabled carer.

My mum has always been my solid rock through this journey, my bond with her is unbreakable.  Just as I have been there for her she has been there for me.  Mine is a single parent family, all of us have complex disabilities and all of us care for each other.  I realise today that anything is possible when you have the right people around you, supporting you...... but I also remember what it is like when it was only my mother supporting me, she was always there, but I feared for her, even today.