After my spinal cord injury in 1973 my biggest fear and concern was not getting my legs back. Sounds weird? I was told early on by a hospital acute care aid that I probably would neither be able to have kids nor walk again. He spoke out of turn and my father later had that guy pinned up against the wall for telling me that. Well, I was certainly crushed by the news, like my spinal cord. My foxhole prayer to my God was that if he was going to take my legs, please ‘Lord let me have children!" I prayed this over and over as I laid in my hospital bed at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Southern California. Why I felt that way back then, I’m still not sure. I had a constant vision of being a father, having a beautiful wife and become a parent and yes, even a grandparent at the age of 19. So, after my 4 month stay in prison, aka rehab lol I was turned loose on the world with a new life in front of me. A life I was petrified and uncertain about. In the prison rehab, I was safe and protected. I didn’t want to leave as I had no confidence at all and especially with girls or women.
Raising a child is not an easy task. It never was and it never will be, which is why being a parent is considered to be one of the most special and life changing experiences of our lives. It requires patience, sacrifice and tons of love and care. When it comes to raising a child with a disability, the tasks may seem to have doubled or the risks may seem higher, but overall it is mostly our attitude that will help us get through the day and night and have a happy and healthy family. For this blog post, we spoke to several super parents, who have children ranging from 6 to 15 years old. We simply wanted to collect insights into the lives of families with children with a disability. They all shared their advice and gave examples of how they manage to do it. Below are 6 simple ways for you to keep your sanity as a super parent and rock it!
Today is World Spina Bifida Day! As Team ABC Medical, we are excited to celebrate this important day by helping build awareness for spina bifida and sharing some of the unique stories of families from all across our country. In this Q&A, originally published last year, we got to chat with Misty Schaff from Shelbyville, IN, who along with her husband Travis is raising 3 boys. The youngest of them, "the baby" of the family, is Kaiden, who is now 9. Kaiden was born with spina bifida.
This is their spina bifida story.