Kaddy Thomas, a UK woman who believes she was abandoned at birth due to a rare genetic condition, has dedicated her life to caring for her son, Elijah, who shares the same affliction. Despite the challenges they face, Thomas maintains a positive outlook and has channeled her experiences into helping others.
Born in 1968 with Apert syndrome, a condition characterized by bone fusion in the feet, hands, and skull, Thomas was told at a young age that she would not lead a normal life. As an infant, she was placed in foster homes in the UK, navigating a turbulent upbringing. Thomas speculates that her mother, a young woman from Gambia, struggled to cope with the demands of her condition and ultimately abandoned her.
Growing up in residential care, Thomas felt the absence of the love and security typically provided by a family unit. However, in her late 30s, she experienced a transformative moment when she became pregnant and gave birth to Elijah 2006, who also had Apert syndrome.
Ensuring a better quality of life for her son became a top priority for Thomas. Elijah underwent surgery to address skeletal deformities caused by the condition, but unfortunately, he developed a severe brain injury and suffered from infections, necessitating round-the-clock care. Thomas vividly recalls the sudden change in Elijah’s abilities, as he transitioned from a lively child to one who was motionless, requiring constant medical attention.
Thomas acknowledges the unpredictability of each day, as she juggles her roles as caregiver and advocate. Plans for outings to places like the zoo or the park can be swiftly altered due to an epileptic seizure. Multiple hospital visits in a single day are not uncommon, as Elijah battles his condition.
However, Thomas remains resilient and draws strength from her son’s determination. She has established a nonprofit organization in Elijah’s name, aiming to raise awareness about their rare condition and provide support to families and caregivers facing similar challenges. Thomas recognized the need for empowerment and mindfulness in her own journey, seeking coaching to manage her own well-being and effectively coordinate Elijah’s caregiving team.
Her aim is to extend this support to all caregivers, helping them navigate the complexities of their roles. Through her unwavering commitment and advocacy, Thomas exemplifies the power of turning adversity into an opportunity to uplift others.