Due to a persistent condition, Deborah has been in and out of hospital a lot.
As a single mum of two who recently had to move to escape domestic violence, Deborah and her girls were supported by her mum until another tragedy struck her family when her father was diagnosed with cancer.
Afraid of having her children taken away from her because of being a single parent with no family ties able to care for the children if she were hospitalised, Deborah kept putting off her own medical needs until they got to a point she could no longer ignore them.
“I’ve always refused to go into hospital because I was too worried [in case] Social Services took my children from me. With us being a single parent, having no family ties,” Deborah says. “And yes, I don’t trust people very much, because of my past. I have very big trust issues with people having my children. Because I absolutely worship the ground my children walk on, I do.
“I heard of Safe Families when I first came to the area, due to having a baby here. And my oldest daughter was hosted, and they were doing such a wonderful job I asked if that could be organised all over again for in future events, ‘cause my daughter was very very happy.”
Although knowing her condition is incurable and will always involve an element of suffering and frequent hospital visits, Deborah now feels safe going into hospital, knowing that her children will be cared for by trustworthy people and the fear of her girls being taken into care as a result of her illness is now just a bad memory. Her upcoming knee replacement, while quite scary as a surgery, no longer holds the same dread for her that it did before she knew her children would be looked after by people she trusts.
“Before Safe Families were involved I was very very stressed. I used to refuse to go into hospital because my children are my priority. Even though my health was deteriorating they’re still my priority. Now they’re involved I feel quite relieved. I’ve met some very very nice people. They did a brilliant job with my children.”
“It has took a weight off my shoulders knowing that Safe Families will be there and my kids don’t have to worry, they’re not going to be taken from me. I couldn’t thank them enough from the bottom of my heart. I don’t feel so isolated no more.”