Meet Sarah. A Drouin mother with a 20-month old son Edison.
Her parenting responsibilities took a huge hit when she was permanently paralysed from the chest down by a rare condition that damaged her spinal cord.
What started out as gradually-worsening back pain suddenly became a trip to the hospital emergency department, and soon left her confined to a wheelchair with no feeling below her chest. Sarah can't feel her lungs, she can't feel when she needs to go to the toilet, and she no longer knows when she's hungry.
After five months of intense rehabilitation (heartbreaking time away from her little boy) Sarah is finally home. Now the reality sets in. Sarah will need a wheelchair-accessible car for her various medical appointments, and her family may need to move house so she's in a better-suited living environment. That's just scraping the surface. The costs for this Drouin family are ongoing.
But we can help! There is a Go Fund Me page set up by Sarah's sister-in-law Belinda. Have a read in more detail about her story and how this happened. It's our chance for Gippsland to band together and support this family.
Here's to a brighter 2018 for Sarah, husband Matt, and young son Edison.