Dear Doctor

Dear Medical Professional, You will ask about his medical history, And I will repeat the story I have told 100 times or more, The details fine tuned to the essentials I know you need: He was born full term, He has a 7 year old brother who is fit and well, He is allergic to penicillin.  You will ask me what happened, And I will answer: He is 6 years old. He wasn't breathing for 7 minutes. I gave him mouth to mouth. I will hand over a careful typed piece of A4 paper. It will tell you his hospital number, The things he is allergic to, A list of medications and doses. You will take it and smile. You'll tell me I make your job easier. I will stand calm, And in control.  You see my demeanour, my hospital bags packed and ready, And you say, You've done this before. I'll nod and say many times. But remember this; That 6 year old is my baby. That boy with the oxygen, And the wires, And the tubes, Is my son. I watched him turn bl

These Are No Ordinary Wheels

These are the 'pimped up' wheels of Hugh's R82 Kudu wheelchair.  A friend designed them especially for Hugh - they're completely one of a kind.

These wheels catch the eye of many a child (and adult). They run over to point out their favourite super hero and try and name them all. (Go on try - most people will get 5 easily, some 6. If you can get all 8 you're a true super hero fan!- answers at the bottom). If children are staring (as sometimes they do), perhaps trying to work out why he's sitting and not running, rather than feel awkward I can point to the wheels and say 'have you seen his cool wheels?' It's an icebreaker. For the children and their parents.

We chat about Hugh's favourite super hero (it's Captain America) and the films we have seen. Throughout it all Hugh smiles (or sleeps) but there's a connection there. This is a little boy who likes superheroes. Not a little boy in a wheelchair or a little boy with a feeding tube. He likes superheroes, just like me. 

I love that about these wheels. Hugh can't talk but they do the talking for him. They start the conversations for him. They help people see him, first and foremost, not his disability. They make being in a wheelchair cool. They help to include him. 

The thing is though, Hugh grabs the wheels a lot while we're walking. I'd hoped he'd self propel slightly but he's not reached that stage at all. Instead he just holds on. And that's dangerous, because the wheels are turning. So we're looking at different wheels. Smaller wheels. Wheels he can't reach. But also, sadly, wheels that won't have super heroes on. 

No, these wheels don't just get Hugh from A to B, they're a conversation starter, they're a stare-explainer, they're a connection with his peers, they aid inclusion, they're the start of friendships. 

I'll be gutted when they go. 

Hugh as his favourite - Captain America

From the top, clockwise: The Flash, Superman, Captain America, THe Hulk, Iron Man (it's his power source - most people get stuck on that one), Spiderman, Green Lantern (another tricky one) and Batman.

How many did you get?


  1. Adam has Power Ranger wheels. They are very important to us to so I get this post completely.x

    1. Very cool Adam - we are Power Rangers fans here too.

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