I can vividly remember the shock and disbelief I had when the doctor told me about Hazel’s brain injury on that fateful night in the hospital. I kept thinking, what am I to do now? What is going to become of Hazel? A lot of questions popped up...

...in my head. I was in the state of denial, refusing to accept any of it.

Things were not smooth sailing when Hazel was born. There were issues to deal with at home and being a first-time mum who was quite at a loss with what needed to be done, my troubles were further compounded by the post-natal blues I happened to experience then. In a short period of three months, Hazel was diagnosed with Shaken Baby Syndrome and one month later, West Syndrome.

My heart was stabbed millions of times with news of the diagnoses and I could not find words to describe what I was feeling. Nobody could understand the pain I felt. I was so thankful to receive words of consolation from friends and support from my family. As for my hubby who is usually a man of few words, he hardly breathed a word of sadness. We both knew our hearts were aching with pain and we were completely and thoroughly stressed out.

     I felt so alone. 

Thinking back to 2012, I kept wondering if my life was going to be filled with complete sadness. My child is not “normal”. She is not going to be like a “normal” child who will meet her milestones in walking, running, eating or speaking. All these seem so easy for other children but are somewhat beyond Hazel’s reach. It was not easy for me to hang out with friends who have normal kids too. Most of the time, I forced a smile when I was with them and would return home with a sunken heart.

I was not emotionally healthy at all. I often asked WHY. Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening to Hazel? Surely, she deserves a less painful and difficult start in life. 

It just pains me to see her seizures strike every day for almost five years. Most of the time, I kept questioning myself if I had made the right decision for Hazel’s treatment. Am I really doing the right thing for her?  Throughout these five years, I have been struggling.

There are always two opposing voices talking inmy head - one that keeps bringing me down emotionally and the other one tells me that I can do it. 

I fell many times. I picked myself up many times too, simply because I am Hazel’s caregiver. I want to give her the best I can. I want to be a happy mum. Not a sad one.

I went to attend a Glenn Doman’s workshop in 2012 and this passage that was shared then really brought me some light. 

And this is so true. 

Hazel turns out to be such a joy for my family. Before we knew it, we find ourselves constantly cheering at her little achievements and tearing when she started taking that long awaited, independent first step. We have never taken things for granted and often give thanks for whatever little improvements Hazel has. Despite fighting with seizures daily, Hazel never forgets to give us her smiles and this shows her cheeky side. 

This year is absolutely special for us. Hazel has made a tremendous improvement in her condition. She is more talkative and able to smile more now. She is also very responsive and loves humming along to her favourite tunes. No words from her yet, but I am sure it will be coming very soon. With less seizures, she is coping better in school too!

I guess Hazel did come for a reason. She has taught me so much - to be a better person, to appreciate what we have and to be content. She has taught me to think more positively.

      We have learnt to give thanks for what comes our way as nothing is taken for granted.
      Happiness is priceless. 

My heart swells with pride, not for the things she is able to do thus far, but for the way she fights through the ordeals.  Every task in daily life is challenging for children with special needs - they have to fight harder and work harder to do the very same things that other children can easily do. 

So yes, I couldn’t have asked for more from Hazel. If I could choose again, I would still want Hazel to be my child, with or without a disability. She is loved by many and is a happy child.

Thank God for giving Hazel to me, and I will continue to do everything I can to help her get better.   

Dowin Lee

Dowin Lee is a full time mum to 5 year old Hazel who has West Syndrome.
A mum who laughs alongside with her girl, and holds her tears back when she cries. A mum who holds her daughter's little hands and says words of praises everyday. A mum who holds that strong faith and fights this battle on no matter how tough the journey may seem. A mum who always hopes for a better tomorrow.

She can be reached at euphorialee@gmail.com or at her blog.

2 comments

  • Sheryl

    Sheryl - Monday, 16 May 2016

    What deep, beautiful thoughts and insight. Thank you for sharing. I have re-shared your story on my page as well (https://www.facebook.com/achronicvoice) :) God bless!

  • Melvyn Yong

    Melvyn Yong - Saturday, 14 May 2016

    You are an encouragement. Be encouraged too. God bless.

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