Growing up as a Young Carer
By Daisy, Young Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire Volunteer
Growing up as a young carer is tough. Some of my earliest memories involve my little sister being taken in for life threatening surgeries. My sister is called Molly and was born with a rare condition called Craniosynostosis. It means her skull hasn’t grown properly.
I am a young carer for her and I remember growing up in a medicalised life meant my childhood was a lot different. Me and my sister’s play was different, when we played with dolls, we pretended they had Craniosynostosis and we “looked after them”. We used my sister’s equipment on the babies and did everything that we do for my sister. One time, we gave a baby a tracheostomy, which is a tube down the throat to help the child breathe. This is what my sister had.
We attached IVs and syringes to the baby. My sister having a life limiting condition affected our whole lives. My parents were told they may have to plan her funeral, and with 3 other children to think about, it must’ve been tough.
I was constantly taking time off school to go and visit my sister in hospital, which was about 2 hours away, which affected my learning too.
It’s tough being a young carer, but you get through it. You have to. You don’t get as much attention from your parents, you deal with a lot more than the average kid, it’s lonely but that’s just how it is.