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All it took was one day, and Liliana’s decent family went from bad to worse. “One early morning all I could hear was ‘Lili, help me! Lili please help me!’ I ran to see why my name was being called so desperately, and I was met with the sight of my mum in despair. She just could not get out of her bed! I tried to lift her but she was as frail as an old woman, hardly being able to move.”
A panicked trip to the GP became a distressing transfer to the hospital. “This not only impacted me but my whole family! My mum was constantly in pain and had to be taking medication all the time. It grieved me to see her in such a state; a woman who had been confident, happy and bubbly was now reduced to a sad and helpless woman.”
Without realising, Liliana became like a youth carer; just one amongst a large number that take on the role of a guardian for an adult who is physically incapable of looking after themselves.
“She literally could not do anything without me helping her,” Liliana says. “From cooking and cleaning right down to having to help her get into the shower. It was horrible!
But despite the pain and what I could see, I believed her situation could change, so I did the only thing I could. I prayed for her. I turned to God to do what I couldn’t.
From then on, with the help of the doctors and prayers, my mum began to regain strength. She can do things for herself as she used to and can even run to catch the bus! With this amazing transformation, her self-esteem has grown and the greatest thing I can say is that I am proud to have a mum like her!”
Liliana Ferreira Camara, Peckham