Anyone who has children will know that things are rarely a walk in the park.
Being a parent is a 24/7 job that requires love, sacrifice and more sleepless nights than I care to count. For some parents, however, the challenge is even bigger than many of us can ever imagine.
For 22-year-old Sheree Psaila, taking care of her son goes far beyond the usual, because she isn’t even strong enough to pick him up.
“Sometimes he’ll cry and I can’t reach him to pick him up,” Sheree told the Daily Mail. “I have to wait for someone to pick him up for me.”
The reason? Sheree has a rare genetic disease that has left her without muscle tissue in her arms and legs.
Sheree Psaila has spent her entire life defying the expectations of those around her.
She was born with an extremely rare disease known as arthrogryposis multiplex congenital (AMC), meaning she has no muscle tissue in her arms or legs.
As you can imagine, life has been one long uphill battle — not even her healthcare providers believed in her at first. They warned Sheree’s parents that she probably wouldn’t make it to her first birthday.
After 20 failed surgeries, doctors told Sheree that she would likely have to spend her life in a wheelchair. Sheree, though, wasn’t prepared to let anyone else decide her destiny.
At the age of five, she was already set against allowing bullies to prevent her from living her life to the fullest.
While attending university, Sheree met her husband-to-be, Chris. He also has a hereditary disease — his affects the lower part of his spine.
Sheree and Chris got married in March 2015 and were eager to try and start their own family.
Unfortunately, Sheree had a miscarriage the first time around. But, after processing the immense grief, the couple tried again.
“The doctors told me I probably wouldn’t be able to have kids, although they didn’t give me a reason why not,” Sheree told the Daily Mail.
A miracle happens
Since Sheree stands barely four feet tall (122 cm), her doctors thought it would take a miracle for her to successfully carry and deliver a baby.
Soon, as usual, all the doubters would be left to eat their words.
After moving to Melbourne with Chris, Sheree gave birth to a son via c-section.
Little Hayden weighed 5 1/2 pounds (2.5 kg) when he was born, which is good considering the circumstances.
What’s more, he has no disabilities or hereditary diseases, which is something both Chris and Sheree had been concerned about.
All agree that Hayden is a miracle, and it’s nothing less than Sheree deserves following her arduous journey.
Sure, Sheree and Chris face more challenges than most parents, but together they’ve shown that love overcomes all.
Due to her lack of muscles, Sheree has difficulty lifting Hayden.
Fortunately, she gets help from a caretaker, who comes five days a week to help. But it is Chris who carries the biggest load.
“When we go swimming, I want to be able to hold him in the pool and do all of the stuff that Chris does with him,” says Sheree.
But despite the daily struggle, Sheree loves being mom to her happy, healthy boy.
Sheree continues to study and live her dream, even though her disabilities are always present.
When I read stories like this, I’m convinced that mothers are the strongest people on earth.