Walking into the Emergency Department at the Perth Children’s Hospital with their sick two-year-old daughter Amelia, Brianna and Russell felt…
Tayla and Brandon are not your typical siblings. Tayla is a keen horse rider and swimmer and Brandon enjoys basketball and AFL, and has recently been awarded musical scholarships for his drumming. Both have Cerebral Palsy.
Born prematurely five years apart, Tayla and Brandon have spent their childhood in and out of Princess Margaret Hospital. As Tayla’s condition is more severe than Brandon’s, she has undergone surgery and intensive rehabilitation to improve her strength, speech and movement. Brandon can walk, but still needs ongoing physiotherapy to improve the muscle tone and control in his legs.
“To begin with, it was hard to understand how I could have one child, let alone two with the same condition. Searching for answers and overcoming all the obstacles that comes with having Cerebral Palsy has been very challenging, but also very rewarding,” explains Geraldine, their mum.
There have been some very tough times along the way. The constant mental strain is very draining on the family. The amount of money it takes to live a normal life with the equipment that you need is enormous. Sometimes it’s so hard it is to go on a basic holiday, you end up not going.
Geraldine is extremely grateful for the help of the hospital. “The knowledge they give to me as a parent is very helpful and thorough so I know exactly what is going on and why it needs to be done.
Thanks to their amazing efforts, both of my children are growing up healthy and happy. We are very blessed to have such a caring and professional hospital in WA.”
Tayla doesn’t let her disability stop her from reaching her life goals. She uses her love for horse-riding as a form of physiotherapy, strengthening her muscles each time she saddles up. Tayla has recently expressed the desire to compete in marathons with her father, Steve, using a customised racing chair. Ultimately, her ambition is to work in the medical field, helping other children who are struggling with being in hospital.
Likewise, Brandon’s condition doesn’t limit him. He is very active, with a love for drawing and creativity and natural talent for playing the drums. When asked about the future, Brandon expresses an interest in being an architect, but also likes the idea of being a professional basketball player.
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