Callum wasn't in an accident, he had a spinal abscess when he was born.  We only found out that he actually had a spinal cord injury, and started using those words, ten years down the line.

When we understood that it was spinal cord injury, it was a lightbulb moment for the whole family.  Everything became much easier because the pieces of the puzzle came together, and we knew for the first time what all the pieces actually were.

As mothers, we're not good at saying that we need help.  I've spent so long trying to show people that I'm capable and can manage that they think there's no problem.  Callum is 13 and I'm trying to get care put in place for him and the response is, 'why now?'.  The answer is that Callum needs someone to support him - as a parent, you will always help your child but that can also be a hindrance.  He needs to be doing more for himself but it's hard for us to watch him struggle when we're so used to doing everything for him.  He should have someone there who can help him build his independence without having that emotional tug.  And more than that, he's a teenager - he doesn't want his mum hanging around all the time doing every little thing for him.  Over the years, being his mother has not always been first priority - I've been nurse, doctor, carer and it would be lovely to be mum more.

I've been nurse, doctor, carer and it would be lovely to be mum more

We were offered care years ago but I wasn't ready to accept help.  It seemed like it would be an intrusion, and that we would be letting Callum down if we didn't do it all.  Now, I can see that if I carry on doing it all, I'll be holding him back.  But having accepted that, the care isn't available.  So now I feel like I've let him down by not taking up the offer from social care when he was younger.  I wish someone had sat me down and told me to think about these things - not just what we needed as a family then, but what we'd need as a family in the future.  As it is, the opportunity went by and I've been fighting for two years to get it back.

Callum will be getting out there and finding his own way.  He's into his wheelchair racing and will be off with them, he'll be on school trips, he'll be doing all those things that teenagers do and I don't want to have to say no because  it's not practical.  He's happy, he's healthy, he's got a good level of independence and I want that to continue.  It's not about us, it's about Callum.

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