Laura’s Story

Even the thought of having an actual holiday with my family makes me cry

I became disabled in my thirties. My mobility has become progressively worse and I’ve moved from needing crutches to a walker and now I rely on a wheelchair.

Lockdown felt for most people the way my life became for me after losing the ability to just go out when I wanted. I know what it’s like to be an independent parent because that’s the way I was with my first child. I used to love to take my son swimming and on trips – I even took him to Spain by myself. To have that taken away is heartbreaking because I know what I have lost.

My daughter Lilly-Ann is seven now and we’ve never had a holiday away together as a family. Even a trip to our local beach is a struggle so a holiday is completely out of the question. We don’t go out like other families and we don’t get to destress the way other parents do. My husband does everything for me and it would be so nice to have the chance to go away as a couple once in a while.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t be a real Mam because I can’t take Lilly-Ann out to experience things together. I have a solid group of friends who come to visit me and bring their kids to play but it’s not the same as being able to take your child places where you can interact with them. Other people take her out so she doesn’t miss out altogether and she just accepts that because she doesn’t know any different but it would be amazing if we could do activities like swimming together.

My holiday dream would be to have somewhere to stay that feels like home. Somewhere that’s easy to get around in my wheelchair, with a wet room and a secure, private garden so we could enjoy time outside too. An onsite playground area would be perfect and an accessible hot tub would be the ultimate dream!

Even the thought of having an actual holiday with my family makes me cry. I can only imagine the freedom that would bring and the opportunities to bond with my daughter, to relax with my husband and to share fun experiences together. It would mean the absolute world to me.

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