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How volunteering for Scope helped me on my journey to recovery
Hey I'm Ami! Country bumpkin (I'm from Norfolk). I'm 23, deaf, partially sighted, among other conditions and recovering from Transverse Myelitis. I joined Scope's online community early this year and was offered the role of a Community Champion!
I was really anxious to begin with but really excited at the same time. I have volunteered in the past however never on a online forum. I never voiced my opinion as I was always afraid of how people would react. Scopes online community has helped massively, not only towards teaching me to accept my disabilities, but building my confidence back up too!
Unfortunately, a few days after I was offered the role, I was admitted to hospital. To cut a very long story short, I contracted bilateral pneumonia and learnt that I have Transverse Myelitis, which means my spinal cord became inflamed. I spent 4 days in a induced coma because my body was too weak to fight pneumonia. It could have gone either way but thankfully I came through it!
Why is this connected to my role? I had to learn to type on my IPad again because the cervical and thoracic area of my spinal cord were affected. This made me unable to control my limbs. I had to learn to reach with my arms, pick things up, sit up, stand up and learn to walk again.
As you can imagine this would cause a substantial amount of stress and it broke my heart when I couldn't be involved with Scope as much as I wanted to be. When I did master typing again, I emailed Scopes' community team to ask if I could continue the role of a community champion. They kept me as a community champion all this time I had been in hospital and I was beyond elated!
Since resuming my role a couple of months ago, I have noticed a massive change in my self-esteem and my mental health. In between having intensive Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and seeing my Psychologist, I spend the majority of my spare time on the forum, discussing various topics, welcoming new members, chatting with good friends that I have made from within the community. Every single member has helped me in more ways than one and I am forever grateful.
My good friend, @thespiceman a fellow community champion says:
We all have different reasons as to why our role is important to us. I love helping others, I know it's ironic but I am a good listener, despite being deaf *laughs*. We support each other, understand each other. Why? Because we are all equal.
I am excited for the future, I am getting married next year and have been in contact with the fundraising team for Scope! So watch this space!
Also, if you would like to read more about my recovery, check out my blog!
Do you have a spare hour or two during the week? If you are interested in learning more and becoming a community champion then email [email protected]
Disability Gamechanger - 2019