Sabrina was born with a rare bone disorder, undiagnosed through my pregnancy, which took us on a great journey of learning and acceptance of what is not ‘perfect’. She was our darling precious child, who came into this world made in her own unique way, with a skeleton that worked differently to anyone else, and a mind as pure and wonderful as any we had ever met. With the guidance of wonderful doctors and specialists, she endured many a heartbreaking operation, which we discovered over time, were not able to mend or change to be “normal”, what G-d had made to be the way she was meant to be.
We learnt how to make the most of every day, and through the years we had together, Sabrina was incorporated into the normality of every day life as best we could. She drove her electrical wheelchair to school, where she was included in as many activities as was possible with all the other little children. She adored her horse riding therapy, managed to paint paintings lying on her side, went to ballet classes waving her magic wand in her tutu as she drove beside her friends in her wheelchair ‘dancing” just like they danced… Sabrina was kind and gentle. She was brave and compassionate. She always cared about anyone else who “had a sore place” even though she was at times in a plaster cast from her toes to under her arms for weeks at a time. She was our Angel child as an earthling who came to teach us how precious every moment is of this life.
We treasured every day and lived every day as though they would go on forever. Many times were spent in ICU on a ventilator when her little lungs could not cope with pneumonia. She had a fused rib cage from birth which constricted her lungs and made her breathe in an unusual way with her diaphram. We did eventually discover a wonderful machine called a bi-pap which helped to oxygenate her body and was a real life saver when we moved to Plett when she was five years old. This machine literally changed our lives as it gave her the peace of a good night’s sleep whilst the machine breathed for her and gave her body a chance to grow and get stronger. Our years here in Plett gave Sabrina the chance to “run” on the beach in her chair beside the waves, wind in her hair, collect her Sabrina shells which you all wish on at her wishing well, soak in the magic and power of our incredible corner of this universe.
She was not able to cough, sneeze, roll over or sit on her own… so many things we take so for granted, and which would have made all the difference to her life had she been able to do so. But her life was set for another path, and after slipping into a coma after a mucus plug could not be dislodged in hospital on May 12, 2003, after 11 days she left us and passed away.
She was almost 7. We had lived our lives together to their fullest, devoted to making life the very best it could be for Sabrina, first the three of us and then with our little Gabriella arriving to spread a ray of sunshine and bond all we had together when Sabrina was 5. Their birthdays being just one day apart. We knew the pain, the heartache, the joy, the gratitude, the appreciation of so many special people who were always there for us, of never travelling the journey on our own. Family, friends, doctors, specialists, nurses, therapists, so many people were there to help us from the day Sabrina arrived. When she left, we knew that there could be no greater pain for a parent with a special needs child, to be alone and not to be able to do everything they could for their child. Sabrina helped us to be able to start her Sabrina Love Foundation, to help families help their treasured people.
It is with all the support, love and care that has poured into her Sabrina Love Foundation, by so many of you reading this note, that it has been able to grow and develop over the years to where it is today. Sabrina’s heart and star travels far and wide across the world, spreading her message and touching people to join our challenge to care for all our special needs children in Plettenberg Bay. Giving those children the opportunities we were able to give Sabrina to be incorporated and cared for in our “normal” lives. We thank you for your joining the journey and we wish you Love Peace Health and Happiness wherever you are, as we join hands in gratitude for the LIFE that we have to LIVE every day.
I had a friend say to me the other day, how beautiful it is to feel like she knows Sabrina, even though she never met her, she feels her. For us, as her parents, what a privilage it is to have so many people cherish her as we do. THANK YOU! (About Sabrina Love Foundation)