Lilian Hollington (South Africa): Love overcomes all challenges
My son Kurt was diagnosed with haemophilia at six months old. It was the seventh time I’d brought him to the hospital, concerned about his persistent bruises. I had a million questions running through my mind. Would I be able to provide all the care he needs? Would he be able to grow up and enjoy life like any other kid?
We tried to ensure Kurt could live as normal a life as possible. As time went on, we had to adapt. Of course, we took precautions like covering sharp surfaces at home, but once he started crawling and walking the bruises were inevitable. When he started pre-school, I spent a lot of time raising awareness about haemophilia amongst Kurt’s teachers and peers.
Being a haemophilia mother has brought its challenges and some suffering. One time, while sitting on a bus, a stranger accused me of abuse when they saw bruises on his face. Kurt’s dad and hero passed away when Kurt was only eight years old. Those days we never had access to the internet, however our doctors and nurses were very helpful.
Over time, hospital visits reduced as we were able to infuse at home. My mother, Kurt’s stepdad and I raised Kurt and his brother with all the love and care we could give. Sadly, Kurt’s stepdad passed away two years ago. Wherever we go, we have strived to overcome our challenges.
Kurt is now a smart and successful young man who loves to travel and whose motto is ‘I’m greater than my pain’. I share my story as a tribute to all those who made this possible: his late dad, his gran who cared tirelessly for him, his stepdad who continued to be there for him, and all the healthcare professionals who have looked after him.
Lilian Hollington, mother to Kurt Higgins, shared her story with us as part of our ‘Get+involved: share your story’ series to celebrate World Haemophilia Day 2020.