Q: What is your name?
A: Amber McCallister
Q: How old are you?
A: 33 years old
Q: What type of SB do you have?
Q: How can we continue to follow your story?
A: on IG @Amberkathleen33
I was born in August of 1980 to a mother who had never heard of Spina Bifida and had no idea during her pregnancy that anything was wrong. It wasn’t until she was giving birth to me and I was delivering breach that the Dr. realized something was very wrong. After they got me out they whisked me away without letting her see me or saying what the problem was. A little while later the Dr. came to her handed her a small book (which I still have) and said, “she is alive and this is what she has”. He then told her all the things he thought I wouldn’t be able to do…he said I would never walk, I would have severe learning disabilities, I would have hearing and vision problems due to hydrocephalus and would need a shunt. He gave me a less than 50% chance of living past my teenage years. He recommended that she just put me away in an institution somewhere and try to have another baby. Luckily for me, she refused. He also wanted to go ahead and put a shunt in though the pressure in my head wasn’t changing “just in case”, this she also refused.
Long story short. I can walk (with crutches) I am only paralyzed from the knees down. I took regular classes in school and graduated with an IQ that scored the highest in my school. I obviously lived passed my teen years. I never needed a shunt and never got scoliosis. I have been married, worked and done all the things a normal adult does. So, in short I have proven his every prediction wrong.
I guess the moral of my story would be, don’t ever let anyone, Doctor or otherwise, tell you what your child with Spina Bifida will or won’t do. They are not psychics and can’t tell the future! I am Amber and I am still here loving life. Thank you for your time and allowing me to share my story.
The most common thing I hear in all these stories is that unfortunately these parents are given such a grim outlook for the life of their child. Many are so scared that they end up aborting their child before even giving them a fighting chance. Yes, your child will have some challenges but they will still lead a happy, successful life. Amber is the perfect example of that!