I was only three-years-old when dad had his accident.
I remember visiting him in hospital and having to spend a lot of time with my auntie and grandparents. Now I’m older, I understand why, but as a little girl at the time I just missed my dad.
Dad’s accident had a huge effect on me growing up - I still find it really hard to talk about.
For a long time we didn’t speak about it - it was too painful and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
I remember actually poking him in his leg when he wasn’t looking - I just couldn’t get my head around things and why he was different.
The accident has had a profound effect on our family and close friends - well, it’s been life-changing for everyone. My extended family took on a huge responsibility looking after me as a child and they also had to deal with dad’s erratic behaviour as he struggled mentally and emotionally to cope.
Growing up, my brother and I did miss out - dad couldn’t teach us to ride our bikes, take us swimming, have a kick-about at football practice. He couldn’t walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. That night we had a big ceilidh, but dad could only watch us dancing from the sidelines.
Now I’m a mum, I get upset seeing that dad can’t play with his granddaughter - he doesn’t have the balance to lift her into his chair and he can’t babysit her for the night. I know it bothers him too, which upsets me even more.
It’s been a long struggle.
While we are all in a much better place now, we are still faced with constant everyday challenges. A simple set of steps when we go out for lunch only remind us he’s not as able as he once was. That’s hard for all of us to deal with.
The day of the accident, dad and his workmates were short of time. They needed to get the job done, so they cut corners. He didn’t think of the consequences or his family waiting at home for him to come back safely.
So my message is this - trust that initial gut feeling. Think of your loved ones at home. Don’t risk it. Take it from me, the last 26 years have been a nightmare. I don’t want you and your family to go through what we have endured.
Abbi and her dad Jason have been working with RoSPA and The Ladder Association on the Get a Grip campaign. To see Abbi's video and find out more about the campaign, see www.ladderassociation.org.uk/get-a-grip
Read Jason's story.
Posted: 4/18/2019 10:09:55 AM