When the Ken Barlow story-line was revealed in Coronation Street these last few weeks, it brought a realisation to my eyes.
At the age of 21, my sister Rosemarie experienced a stroke. I was only 8 years old at the time my sister was battling for her life and in a discussion with my mum yesterday, I don’t remember who my sister was before this happened.
For the last 16 years of my life, I’ve only known my sister for who she’s been since suffering a stroke, not who she was the 8 years before.
This is so hard for me to write, because it’s my family; my own flesh and blood. Was I too young to remember? Was the experience so eventful my 8 years previous have been outpowered?
I normally write these personal posts with some background information, but this is one post where it’s not possible. I have no recollection of whom my sister once was, as her stroke has taken over her perception, the family’s perception and everyone else’s perception.
A stroke doesn’t only affect the individual, but everyone around them.
Every day, as a family, we don’t know what’s going to happen with my sister, as combined with battling with her stroke at the time, my sister was diagnosed with Chron’s Disease, suffering 4 fits at the time of her stroke and the diagnosis.
It was life-threatening and in those words is a deeper story. A story that prolongs every day with brain damage causing my sister to enter the unknown every morning and night, not knowing what her day or evening will entail, but you wouldn’t necessarily notice this.
Ken Barlow’s storyline inspired me to share my sister’s battle, as with every hidden battle is a person fighting for their life.
My sister is still my sister. Just because someone has a medical condition, it doesn’t make them any different; it’s an additional personality trait.
We put a door in front of disability in a way individuals feel excluded and even though today’s blog I wanted to share a bit about my sister’s story, I want this to be the start of an array of equality and diversity blogs standing up for causes close to my heart, giving you a lot of passion and personal insights into my life, covering topics relating to family life and my own life.
I’m going to share my deep thoughts a lot more on John’s Road to Volunteering, as I pride myself in helping those in need.
You’re not alone. There’s a reason why many call me the BFG…I’m here to listen.