Hello, let me start off by introducing myself. My name is Chantil, I am a single mother to three amazing sons aged 17½ (the half is very important I’m told) a soon to be 16 year old and a 7 year old. I work full time for a charity and I love food and fashion, in that order.

Let me start at the beginning I guess. So, my son Dajhanee was born in 2001 weighing 4lb 4oz at 40 weeks. Doctors were unsure as to why he was so small other than his weight there was no noticeable issues, I threw myself in to being a mother of two under two.

When he was around four or five months old I noticed Dajhanee was slightly delayed with some of his milestones compared to my previous experience of his older brother. All children are different so I didn’t over think or stress out about it.

By the time Dajhanee hit one and two years old it was more apparent there were some issues and the Health Visitor also had some concerns around his development. There were issues with his very low weight and his growth, poor Dajhanee was pricked and prodded.

Health professionals were quickly involved and that began endless and copious appointments at the hospital with doctors, paediatricians. Finally Dajhanee was diagnosed with serve Global Developmental Delay.

What that actually meant for Dajhanee was he has limited verbal communication, poor motor skills, difficulty with mobility and sense of awareness. When this diagnoses was made in 2003 I was told be prepared that he may never walk or talk!

My spirit was absolutely broken, I felt angry, frustrated, lost, overwhelmed and heartbroken. All these dreams and aspirations I had for my son and my little family were gone!                                                                                                   

The thought of the unknown emotionally broke me, I would cry at night when the boys were in bed asleep, I stayed in this negative frame of mind for a few years. Never really talking or acknowledging how I felt!

I worried about my oldest son having friends over for dinner or play dates as I never wanted him to be subjected to any type of bullying or being isolated from his peers due to his brothers disabilities, children can be cruel.

Dajhanee did manage to start walking and went on to say a simple words, he attends a really good special needs school and attends respite once a month.   16 years on Dajhanee is doing great, he is funny, smart, loving but most of all he is our Dajhanee and we love him dearly. I can’t pretend that I don’t get sad about things he will never experience or accomplish but I acknowledge it and move towards the future which is still bright.

The biggest lesson Dajhanee has taught me is to love with no boundaries and unconditionally. To take all help and support offered, as it’s a true saying that it takes a village to raise children, because as much as I love my sons there are times when I still feel isolated.