Caregivers Community

A Mom’s Mission for Her Daughter with Spina Bifida

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
04/03/12  8:20 AM PST

Shield HealthCare Caregiver Story Spotlight | 2011 “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?” Contest

Story by Sherri V.

“What makes caregiving rewarding for me? I had my daughter when I was seventeen years old and she was born with Spina Bifida. Social workers at the hospital asked me if I would like to give her up for adoption because caring for her might be more than I can handle. Well, I am a firm believer that no matter how many hardships that I may encounter, that God doesn’t give me any more than He knows I can handle! I grew up really fast…and Britni is going to be 14 years old this December. She’s been through a lot…22 surgeries so far and another major one coming up this summer is needed. She is paralyzed from the waist down, incontinent and in a wheelchair, but aside from that I have raised a very beautiful, caring and happy young lady. For me, caring for her medical needs just enhances my relationship with her, so I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Britni also has a younger brother who does not have any special needs and while I love each of them equally, I have always felt that Britni is my angel sent to me from God. We keep each other going and we always keep each other smiling. There are times when I doubt myself and wonder if I am doing a good enough job as a parent and caregiver for her, but then when she was told that she would have to have yet another surgery, she saw that I was trying so hard to be strong but she knew I was scared and upset and still she looked at me and said, “It’s okay Mommy, at least we can snuggle in the hospital bed and stay up watching TV together all night long.” It made me realize that despite all of her fears and disappointments, I have shown her how to always look at the bright side of things.

I don’t look at the caregiving that I do for her as a job or just something that I have to do, I look at it as more of a mission. I am on a mission to make her life the very best that it can be. And if along the way, I have to do some less than desirable things for her so that she can live a normal and happy life, then I just smile and remember that since she is my angel, the least that I can do for her is to be hers too!”