This is a story of a young girl that our CEO of IT4CH helped with giving a home PC, I have suitably anonymised it but bloody hell….How can people be so cruel to their own people and how can social services be so bloody difficult? Pisses me off no end. But still, look at it, the same society helped this young girl to get up and go. Brave brave girl
When I was still living in Surrey, I had a call from XX Hospital about a family in dire need of help. The couple’s son had died, leaving a drug-addict wife and two young girls who were living in a squat in London. The grandparents were desperately trying to obtain a Court Order to take the children into their care. A doctor had examined the girls and found heavy amounts of drugs in their system because the mother was drugging them to make them sleep during the night so she could go out looking for drugs. Another problem was that because the girls were so heavily drugged, one of them had been near a heater throughout the night and had bad burns on her back – she was too heavily drugged to know what was happening. She was facing years of skin-graft operations.
I went to see the grandparents in XX but I wasn’t sure what I could do. They lived in a small house in XX which was immaculate. The grandfather drove a lorry for X and was desperate to have his grandchildren with them. I spoke to neighbours and many other people who knew them. I went with them to the first Court appearance, identified myself, and told him about the drugs, the burns, and the heart condition which had also been discovered in the younger of the girls. I told the judge I had spoken to the X Hospital about getting the 10 year-old on the list for surgery, and they had suggested a referral as soon as possible. I gave the judge a written statement of what I had discovered from neighbours and suggested he should also listen to the people from XX Hospital whose staffs were now caring for the girls who were still having intravenous anti-viral drugs to clear their system. It took weeks of Court visits, with all sorts of talking heads saying the grandparents were too old. I asked to go back into the witness-box and made an angry statement: “You have three choices: return them to their mother, put them in care for the remainder of their teenage life, or hand them over to their loving grandparents.” I went on to tell him that the interference of do-gooders who were stopping children being looked after by adoptive parents, or in this case loving grandparents, were condemning children to a life without family life or love. They were handed over to the grandparents and we worked hard to get the adoption pushed through, done pro bono by a lawyer friend of mine. I put a PC into the home ready for when they arrived home.
Why am I telling you this? Well, the older girl has completed her fifth skin graft surgery and is a beautiful 19 year-old who is preparing to go to College. They are having a big celebration and I would like to send her a £20 voucher from us. I know it’s not in the charity’s mandate, but I saw both these girls through hospital treatment: one having the terrible surgeries which replaced the skin on the whole of her back, and the other having three lots of heart surgery. Capital One’s Christmas Appeal gave them toys and food each Christmas until they both reached 16, (which was done through X, who lived near me, and help from X through his contacts). I wrote to X about it. Having gone through 87 skin grafts, he knew the pain she would have to go through. He wrote a wonderful letter to her to give his support and visited the ward when he was in London. The added problem was that her dirty clothes had burned themselves into her skin and she was in danger of dying from septicaemia. It took a year to clear away the debris burnt into her skin.
Needless to say, the trustees were all supportive of her action.