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Family’s cerebral palsy journey an open book

Published 15th September, 2017

A mother named Mitchiko Parnell has shared her inner most thoughts and feelings in a book she has written about her family’s experience living with disability, after her daughter Ashlyn was born with cerebral palsy.

“The story is about what happens after a much loved and anticipated baby girl is born with brain damage,” Mitchiko said.

“Ashlyn is now 14 years-old and has faced cognitive, sensory and physical difficulties her whole life. I wrote this book to share the challenges and joys our family has experienced through the years to hopefully help others who may be at the very beginning of this journey.”

Mitchiko tells the story of her family’s challenges and triumphs using a collection of anecdotes and reflections coming from all different phases of Ashlyn’s life.

“From when Ashlyn was born until now, our family has evolved and changed just as Ashlyn has. By telling a series of seemingly small stories, it’s easier to see the bigger changes we’ve achieved.”

Ashlyn’s therapists Rachael Tan and Shannen Stanes were excited to see the book published and have shared their reviews:

“An educational and enlightening true story of grief, life, and hope, “Damaged in Transit” is one of the most readable and informative books I’ve ever read. It’s a real-life account of a family and their experience of the familial, social, medical, practical, and psychological hurdles related to living with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and overcoming these with the support of each other. I could not think of a better book to recommend for EVERY person who lives with, cares for, or works with someone with a disability.” – Rachael Tan, Clinical Psychologist.

“This is a journey that no one should have to go through but everyone needs to read about. It’s a life changing story that will change your life as you read it. A story about how many may be feeling, living with a disability, but everyone is too afraid to say. Thank you for pushing past your worries and sharing this heart-felt story with us, allowing us to delve further into your journey. You are an incredible role model not only for Ashlyn but those who have the privilege of reading your story.” – Shannen Stanes, Physiotherapist.

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Girl with therapist


Pictured: Ashlyn Parnell with occupational therapist Carmen McDougall

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