‘I thought he was dead’ – Hitchin mum turns harrowing diary about brain-damaged son into book
- Credit: Archant
A harrowing diary written by a Hitchin mother about caring for her brain-damaged son has now become a book.
Mother-of-five Vikki Hammond wrote Whenever I Fall about her eldest child Kai, who was born with severe brain injuries.
The book documents her struggle to accept and raise a son with special needs.
Vikki, 32, said: “I started writing a diary about my experiences two years ago but it was painful and harrowing to write so I stopped for a while. My husband Scott encouraged me to start it up and even bought me a laptop so I could write.
“You go through so many emotions as a special needs mother. When you get the diagnosis it feels like a death.
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“I had all these exciting notions about motherhood before Kai was born, but once we realised he was severely brain-damaged they disappeared.
“Looking back, I was in denial and refused to accept Kai’s condition.
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“I withdrew from the things a young mother does like taking him to baby groups for fear of people judging me – I also didn’t want people giving me pitying looks, even if they meant well.
“I was depressed and heading towards a breakdown – but I didn’t realise it. It was a lonely place to be.
“Kai nearly died when he was 12 months old. I’d put him to bed but after a while – call it mother’s intuition – I felt the need to check on him.
“When I got to his room he was blue and I thought he was dead. I thought then: ‘I need to accept Kai’s condition as my reality’.
“The lowest point was when Kai was four and I was pregnant with my second child Bailey.
“They found a tumour in Kai’s brain. I was so worried if he’d even pull through – or whether he would be even more disabled after the operation – I actually thought about killing myself.
“I was in the car with Kai and I’d planned to drive it into a wall, all I needed to was decided where – when Bailey kicked in my stomach, which pulled me to my senses.
“Kai’s now 13 and he’s completely changed my life. My other kids are great with him and my husband’s been a rock.
“The response to my book has been amazing from women all around the world in similar situations.”
Whenever I Fall is available to buy from Amazon for £5.65 as a paperback and £1.97 on Kindle.