In the small hours on the 21st of December at 2:30 am in the morning, my daughter opened the door to her stepdaughter’s bedroom to be greeted with the scary sight of Lacey, who is only 6 years old, convulsing on her bed due to suffering a mass seizure.
My daughter, Emily, grabs the phone immediately and dials 999 for the emergency services and requests an ambulance immediately. Within 15 minutes the paramedics arrive on the scene to find that Lacey is still convulsing violently and they are not able to stop her little body from moving or slow down the convulsions. the paramedic decides there and then to sedate her into a drug-infused coma-like state in order to ease her violent episode.
After what seemed like 2 hours, but was only 5 minutes, Lacey starts to relax and the convulsions stop, which allows the paramedics to move her into the back of the ambulance and rush her to the city hospital in Leeds. From there Lacey is given a number of tests and doctors waste no time in rushing Lacey into surgery to have emergency surgery on her brain.
My daughter and her partner Mark, are told the words that no parent wishes to EVER hear, and that is that Lacey may not pull through, and that they best start to “prepare themselves” for the worse because there is a slim chance she will actually survive. At this crucial point, Lacey is laying in intensive care and has tubes and wires coming out of every part of her little body and she cannot breathe by herself.
It was 4 days before Christmas and while everybody else was preparing to spend Christmas day with their families, this family is shot into complete disbelief and despair. Myself has Emily’s mother, had to listen to my daughter call me in tears and distress thinking that she may never get to see Lacey again alive due to her having to stay at home to look after the other children while Lacey was taken to a hospital 90 miles away. It was heartbreaking!!
The poor family placed their Christmas on hold and focused solely on this little girl making it through the night. I myself asked every prayer warrior, energy worker, healer and coach I knew to pray for this little girl in order for her to live. The only thing that mattered right there and then was that Lacey made it through the night and LIVED.
Lacey survived the surgery and lived to see another day, but she still couldn’t breathe by herself and doctors feared they may need to operate a 2nd time. So, again I asked every warrior, energy worker, healer and coach I knew to pray for this little girl in order for her to live. I don’t think I have begged so much for people to pray in my life! However, guess what? They did, and something truly astounding happened, she opened her eyes.
The tubes were taken out of her mouth and she was taken off the ventilator and could breathe for herself. Lacey sat up in bed but she couldn’t move one side of her body, speak, walk or control her bladder. Even though this was a massive step forward, the family was still left reeling with the fact that Lacey may never recover, and if she does it will be a long hard rehabilitation journey back to doing simple everyday tasks we all take for granted every day.
When the family had just gotten to the place of hope for Lacey’s survival, the youngest child, who is only 4-month-olds old (my grandson Hayden) is taken ill with a high temperature. Instantly my daughter gathers the other children up and rushed Hayden to the doctors, only to be told 20 minutes later that he needs to be rushed to a hospital because he has bronchitis and needs to be placed on a drip and have antibiotics fed through a drip into his tiny arm.
That was now two very poorly children, 100 miles apart and in two different hospitals. As you can imagine this family is tested to the max and my daughter is exhausted from travelling, looking after the other children and trying to be in two places all at one time. It was only 14 months ago that Emily and Mark lost their first child David (my grandson) when he was born sleeping in November 2016, so the fear running through these parents was immense and the thoughts of losing more children haunted them.
But, this was real, this was their reality and mine as a mother watching my daughter suffer. It was in the full throttle of this happening that I decide to make a huge shift in my circumstances, and that shift was that I had to let go of something in my life to free up time for where my daughter needed me. I had to be prepared to let go of one thing in order to be the mum she deserves, to be there for her, to help her, to help support with the children and somehow make life easier for this family.
So I did, I decided to let go of The Missing Piece Magazine, to free up a lot of time and dedicate it to what matters the most, family. Even though I had spent 12 months slogging my guts out to get it to where it is today, none of that really mattered, what mattered the most was that these children got well again.
I won’t deny, that a part of me was feeling so guilty towards the team of writers that have written for the magazine for the past year and all the hard work they had placed into the magazine too. When I confronted the team and told them of my plans they were so supportive and I must say these people are truly astounding human beings and I respect them and love them so much! Every one of them agreed it was the right thing to do and sent me so much support and love it was humbling.
That evening I just sat in silence and reflected on everything that had just happened in the past 4 weeks. Part of me refused to give up, part of me knew that God would never have placed any of us through this shit storm without a plan of revival, it’s only if I give up now it would all be for nothing, so I refused.
I refused to give in and ask him to show me a way, and he did. The thought instantly popped into my mind to take every ounce of content that the magazine writers had contributed, turn it into books and grow The Missing Piece book series BIGGER!
Could I do it? YES!
Would it be time-consuming? NO! Cos I don’t produce the books, my publishing team does, I write, publish and market them. Which is something I do day in day out with clients and could do it in my sleep.
How would it help this family? Well, my time would be freed up from the magazine, the team take care of producing the books, I can write or dictate my books, they will be published and I can donate a chunk of the royalties to Emily, Mark and the children to help towards the aftercare of lacey when she gets home from hospital.
BOOM! I just made shit loads of lemonade out of the truckload of lemons that were just thrown at my head, phew!
So, the next day my dear friend, coach, advisor, best friend and personal ass kicker Kim B. Smith grilled me more than melted cheese on a toasted sandwich. She put me through a huge clarity session of who, what, why are you doing this? What is your timeline and when will you have it all done by (this women kicks my ass I tell ya! and makes me face my shit storms with a whole new fresh pair of eyes, she’s ruthless, but that’s what makes her a great coach).
At the end of the session, I came out with a plan for 2018 completely different to the one I planned in November 2017 for the future year, and a solution for all the problems I went in with. I informed all the magazine writing team of my plans, and again, they were all amazing, supportive and excited to turn my lemons into lemonade with me. I had also decide on the title, cover and subject of the next Missing Piece book and that it will be released in March 2018 and will be the 11th book in the series.
Talk about a mass makeover in only 48 hours! Yup! I did it, felt it and became it all in that short space of time. Now here’s the even more AMAZING part! … After making that MASSIVE decision yesterday, I get a call to tell me Lacey had just taken her first two steps and was learning to start to walk again and that she has started eating by mouth for the first time since she was rushed into hospital over 4 weeks ago.
Even though she has a very long journey of recovery ahead of her she is improving slowly each and every day. As for Hayden, he is being discharged from the hospital today and all the infection he had in his chest is now cleared up and healed. It’s early days for this family, but still, there is a vast recovery from where they were 4 weeks ago.
All of this happening has really proven to me that we can just give up, lie down and let the world walk all over us or we can get up, stand strong and face the shit storm in front of us and decide what we are going to do about it. It’s only a breakdown when we GIVE UP, otherwise, it’s a breakthrough to something we don’t yet see, and we only begin to see after we decide not to give up.
I hope this inspires you today to never give up!
God bless You!
P.S) A Gofund my account has been set up by a close friend Mark’s to raise money for Lacey’s aftercare and anything else the family needs in the meantime. If you would like to donate to that page then you can right here at this link: https://www.gofundme.com/lacey-miree-ann-ainley-6-yrs-old