Thank you so much. The time and care that everyone involved puts into these quilts (even from the outset in terms of all the admin, help with themes etc, as well as the stitchers and quilters) is so much appreciated. The quilt brought a huge smile to Katie's face when she received it and was a lovely surprise. It is something she will always treasure.
Katie was pretty much always a happy, healthy child until she was struck by an episode of shingles just after her 13th birthday - she has basically never recovered.
She spent years 8, 9 and 10 struggling through school, determined to keep up with her schoolwork and to be there as much as possible. She had to give up sport and any other physical activity not authorised by the hospital (she had previously been a club level hockey goalkeeper playing for the ladies team as well as her own age group and horse riding was her passion). Sadly this took a real toll on her health and just made things worse (as is often the case with ME) and in early 2020 she became too ill to physically attend school.
In many ways the national lockdown was a blessing in disguise for Katie as it allowed her some time to listen to her body, to take things at her own pace and to attend school online at times that worked for her. Very slowly over summer 2020 we saw Katie’s health start to gradually show signs of improvement. She was still very ill but was able to start doing a few things she hadn’t been able to in a long time. She managed to catch up on all her year 10 schoolwork and was ready to start year 11 last September and to complete as many GCSEs as she was able.
Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, Katie then had an accident at the very start of the autumn term, which resulted in a hospital admission that lasted over 7 months in the end. She has been fully bed bound since the accident, unable to sit upright, stand or walk and is in severe pain. This is all due to her ME effectively going into overdrive and her body being unable to cope with the trauma of the accident on top of everything she had been suffering before.
ME is a much stigmatised and misunderstood illness by society and the medical profession too and this has made Katie’s journey even harder.
In addition most of Katie’s friends have distanced themselves over time and she is very lonely and isolated. Despite all of this Katie remains as optimistic as she can. She works hard on her physio when she is able to and is determined to try to achieve at least a couple of GCSEs before moving on with her studies.
She would like to use her experiences of being so ill, being in hospital for so long, etc to help other children in some way in the future.