In The Media | 15 March 2016

New dawn gives the disabled choices

But for his mother’s unconditional love, Dan Nunn would be trapped in a world even modern medicine does not understand.

Dan appeared to be a normal baby when he was born in January 1992. Within three months, his mother Joanne sensed a problem when he was not hitting conventional milestones. Told by doctors he was “just a late developer”, his increasingly uncontrollable spasms were assessed as a trait common in some infants.

But when at almost 11 months he was found in his cot one morning, grey in colour and barely breathing, reality hit.

“We bought Dan home to love and to wait for him to die,” Joanne toldAgenda.

“Nurses, doctors, specialists, neurologists, paediatricians — they didn’t have any hope at all for him. There was no joy, it was black and I’d resigned myself to the fact he would die. I lived in fear for a long time, but he’s proven us wrong time and time again.”

Joanne’s pursuit of a better life for Dan is now helping break ground in the way disabled people spend their support funding and how groups of mentors — known as microboards — can help them navigate through life.