The life for the families of children with illness, injury and disability can be exhausting and heartbreaking. They have to watch helplessly in many circumstances while their son or daughter, brother or sister, undergoes the routine test and arduous treatment. The frequent trips to the hospital and medical centres become tiresome, seeing doctors and specialists more than their own friends. The difficulty of not knowing how the next week, day, hours will unfold, praying that your child or sibling can have a deserved respite from pain.
Commonly, a parent will stop their life completely to care for their child. They sacrifice their professional and private lives to ensure that their precious child has the loving and naturing care required. The ongoing support can cause mental and physical fatigue to the carer. In many cases, these issues are ignored as the focus on the child’s health is prioritised.
Siblings also find themselves in a unique position. They want to help their brother or sister but often aren’t skilled to do so. A simple act of playing can turn into a massive problem if all the external factors aren’t considered, which is a huge ask for a child to understand. Then, there is the moral dilemma of knowing that they are healthy while their unfortunate other has to battle illness each day.
Families are often the unsung heroes when it comes to supporting Australia’s sick children. They do it out of love and necessity and usually without complaint.