Sarah's story: From heartbreak to homecoming
When Sarah was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy at age 21, deep doubts about her future were a constant shadow.
Following two bouts of brain surgery, Sarah was assured by her doctor that she would be free of any future epileptic seizures. However just three months later, Sarah had another seizure.
“I was so disappointed… I didn’t want to come back and see the neurologist,” Sarah said.
Feeling lost and desperate, Sarah began experimenting with illegal drugs to numb the emotional pain, alongside her partner and father of her two children, April and Aiden, who are now eight and two.
After Aiden was born, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) removed Sarah and her partner’s children from their care. Determined to restore her family, Sarah entered a six-month rehabilitation centre.
While Sarah’s lot started improving, some very practical needs had to be addressed, including finding her a home.
Sarah found the answer at Wesley Mission.
Pep, from Wesley Specialist Homelessness Services, organised a place for Sarah and her two children at Wesley Mission’s Noreen Towers, a supported accommodation centre for families who are homeless.
After Sarah’s first meeting with Pep, she moved into her new home just a week later. The following day, April was released into Sarah’s custody. Shortly after, Aiden also moved into their new home.
“Sarah was fortunate because she did have so many services to support her and everything fell into place at the right time”, Pep said.
“She got back her kids. A lot of people don’t. In six months she overcame the drugs... It’s a lot to take on when you’re a single mum. I didn’t do it. She did it herself.”
Pep secured a permanent home for Sarah and her family, and while Sarah continues to struggle with her physical health, she is confident about the future.
“My goal is to stay normal like this and to always have my kids with me. I don’t want to go through the same path again.”