Whilst in the midst of his GCSE exams Mohammed was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had to have a lengthy stay in hospital during which he had extensive surgery to have the tumour removed. After the treatment he was left with severely impaired vision and the loss of his hormonal system. The implications for his academic life, his social life and his personal expectations for the future have been far-reaching and significant. He was kind enough to share his experience this week, with his parents' permission, so that others may become aware of what it is like and so that his teachers may appreciate the extent of the modifications and changes that will have to be made to accommodate his needs. In this short clip he introduces himself and tells us briefly about what happened.
In this next extract Mohammed talks about how traumatic this was: the shock of suddenly losing his sight and how difficult it was being hospitalised for such a long period. To wake up and find that suddenly you can see nothing - it is impossible to imagine what that must be like. Added to this was the awful discovery that the tumour had destroyed his pituitary gland and that for the rest of his life he would be dependent on drugs to control his hormones. I believe it is important for us to see this and to be aware of how it affected (and still affects) Mohammed. None of us can begin to imagine what this must be like. We all take our health for granted. We take so much for granted: being able to live life independently without having to have things done for you; looking forward to the future and all that it holds.
I hope that as you watch this video, and the others following, it will help us to see a little of what life is now like for this young man. Those who work with Mohammed will attempt to do their very best to assist him through this difficult time. But I believe the key thing is knowledge - i.e. to be aware of what he really needs - especially in school, where he spends a large degree of his time. All who have anything to do with our friend need to know precisely how and what he sees and what helps him the most. I hope this blog post will help towards this end.