A Marlow mum has written book on her son’s life changing illness after becoming increasingly frustrated over the ‘shockingly poor’ support provided for parents.
Natalie Trice, from Marlow Bottom, wrote ‘Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH’ after her son, Lucas, was diagnosed with Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip in 2009– a condition affecting the hip joint, which reduces mobility.
And after approaching five publishers, Mrs Trice, who is a freelance writer, landed her first deal, and the book was finally published on Friday, October 16.
Mrs Trice said: “When Lucas was diagnosed with DDH I was terrified and my initial search for information threw up horrific images and worst-case scenarios that simply compounded my fear.
“The main aim of the book is to give parents information we did not have when Lucas was first diagnosed.”
Lucas underwent numerous surgical procedures as a baby and was put in a cast covering half his body, known as a spica.
Despite three in every thousand babies getting diagnosed with the disorder, there was only one book available in the world with information on the condition, which if left untreated can lead to long term disability.
Mrs Trice said she wanted to provide other parents with ‘solace’ after recalling the difficulties she faced when Lucas, who is now six, was diagnosed at four months old.
She said: “People can be really cruel. One man stopped when I was shopping in Boots and got his children to come over and stare at Lucas.
“It’s really difficult to see your child in pain. I just wanted something positive to come out of this and provide other parents with some kind of solace.
“I always wanted to write a book. I am a writer anyway and I joined a course last year about writing a book so I brainstormed ideas with tutors about where there was a gap in the market, and came up with this."
And 10 percent of the royalties raised by the book will go towards ‘Spica Warrior’ – a charity set up by Mrs Trice offering information and advice on the condition.
As well as helping parents cope with their child’s disorder, Mrs Trice hopes the book will raise awareness among medical professionals to encourage earlier diagnoses, as the condition is often missed by doctors.
She continued: “Lucas completely takes it in his stride. He’s like any normal 6 year old, he loves football. But it does still affect him, with his next operation coming up before Christmas, and he’ll have to miss school.
“With Lucas facing more surgery this autumn, I am really pleased to have done something to help others as I know how hard the waiting and recovery periods are."
Mrs Trice will be launching her book and charity on Tuesday November 3 at The Ship in Marlow from 7pm.
For more information go to www.spicawarrior.org