I could go on and on expressing emotions that I felt while reading the book Lessons from Zachary: Turning Disability into Possibility by Sandy Scott. But, for the moment, I’ll stop here.
Twelve days after giving birth to Zachary, Sandy found herself back in the hospital. This time, she sat in consultation with a doctor who gave her the stunning news that her newborn son had severe cerebral palsy. The doctor predicted that her baby wouldn’t live to his first birthday.
How devastating! Gut wrenching!
Her life became one round after another of medical appointments, physical therapy sessions, and visits to the thrombosis and the metabolic disorder clinics. Ugh!
Because she feared Zachary would be gone within a year, she took tons of photos capturing ordinary moments so she could remember him. Photos of him taking a bath, sledding, sitting on the grass. How poignant.
August came one year later. Zachary was still alive! Remarkable!
Sandy made plans for his first birthday. However, the day before his birthday, Zach had a life-threatening status epileptic seizure and was hospitalize. Despite the seizure, Zach lived past his first birthday.
And Sandy was exhausted.
Then, she gave birth to another son who was normal and healthy. What a blessing! But you imagine how difficult it would be to have a newborn baby along with a special needs child? Unthinkably hard!
But changes were in the wind.
A new public policy was passed that provided ways to support babies with disabilities and their families. Sandy hesitantly began volunteering for one committee. And then for another one.
Then, she and her husband divorced. (I was NOT impressed with her ex-husband and WAS impressed that she didn’t severely criticize him!)
As she struggled to be a single mother with two sons, she took opportunities that stretched her and made her grow. She took training sessions and became a certified professional coach. She provided over 5,000 hours of coaching to leaders in healthcare and to parents of children with disabilities.
She earned an Executive Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. She was the Director of The Coaching Project with the Colorado Department of Education. She was also the Director of The Advanced Leadership Program for Physicians at Banner Health.
I think Sandy Scott is an amazing person — to have a special needs child, to be a single parent, to work, to take classes, to earn certifications and a college master’s degree. What an inspiration!
Do you have a special needs child or grandchild? Do you know someone who does? Do you want to get an intimate insight into what life is like for those children and their families?
I encourage all of you, my friends, to read Lessons from Zachary. After you read it, share it. With your family. With your friends. With your neighbors. I strongly feel that this is something that EVERYONE should read! Especially with those who might be struggling in the same situation.
This book could be the hope in their lives that they so desperately need. It will give insights into how disabilities can be turned into possibilities. It can show families that are in similar situations that they can do hard things. They CAN have joy and happiness in their lives with their children.
You can find Sandy’s book on Amazon for $19.95. I am not an affiliate so I will not earn a single penny if you buy this book.