Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More on Kelly Cottam

Let's examine Kelly's case in more detail. Why does she get such high benefits? Can they be reduced without causing undue hardship to her and her children? Is such a high level of benefit a disincentive to work? Are working parents on the median wage actually worse off than Kelly?

There are things to like and dislike about Kelly. Despite a disability and 4 kids she has done a degree and is doing a further training course. She wants to work. She's made the most of what is available and she has four presentable children. She's probably a good mother. On the negative side one wonders why a woman with an inheritable illness has had four kids and also why she chooses to be a useful fool for the Daily Mail. One also wonders where the fathers are and why they aren't paying maintenance (or are they actually paying child support direct to the CSA, which the Daily Mail has forgotten to mention?).

The Daily Mail article doesn't itemise Kelly's benefits to explain how they add up to £37,000, so I tried to estimate them using the government calculator. Incidentally, playing with the calculator will make you an instant fan of IDS's proposed simplification of the benefits system. I hadn't realised quite how Byzantine it had become.

I assumed that Kelly is paying the average rent for a 4 bedroom house in Chorley, which, using Rightmove, I estimate at £800 a month, and I also assumed that she is getting the maximum in disability benefits. Even so, I only reached a total of £34,836.88, more than £2,000 below the £37,000 she says she gets. The extra £2,000 could be because she is paying an above average rent, or because the training course she is doing is government sponsored, or she is simply taking into account the value of the benefits in kind such as free school meals for Liam and Daniel and her travel costs to hospital for NHS treatment.

So how can money be saved? The most obvious way is less expensive housing. Until Aaron is older she could manage with a 3 bed house, but it must be borne in mind that any property she is in must be adapted for her disability. It is probably cheaper to adapt 4 bed accommodation for her now, than to do it now for a 3 bed and later for a 4 bed house. Anyway, let's assume that Kelly is paying an above average rent for her accommodation and could save £2,000 a year by moving. That leaves her with an income of £35,000, still £9,000 above the £26,000 cap on benefits that is going to be imposed.

Next, could Kelly manage on less for child support? I calculate this at £10,279.36 in child tax credits and £3,146 in child benefit. Note that Kelly's child tax credits are higher because she has a child under one year old and will be going down in 6 months time. Now the really interesting thing about these benefits is that Kelly would not lose them if she started working. She keeps the child benefit as long as she is not paying a higher rate of tax. She keeps the child tax credit in full if on a low wage and it would be withdrawn in stages as her income went up. In other words the system is already designed to ensure that someone who has children is never better off not working. The rates are also already graded to take into account the economies of scale that can be made with a large family.

The final part of Kelly's income is the amount she gets for her own maintenance. I've assumed that she gets the highest rates of incapacity benefit of £4,752.80, disabled living allowance of £3,712.80 and mobility allowance of £2,592.2.

The long-term rate of incapacity benefit is significantly higher than income support. If Kelly was on income support she would only be getting £3,403.40 p.a. Whether you think that is justified depends on whether you think someone on incapacity benefit is a disabled person deserving sympathy or a work-shy scrounger. For the sake of argument we will assume that you are a Daily Mail reader and reduce Kelly's benefit by the difference of £1,349.4. But that still leaves Kelly with £33,650. We've still got to find £7,650 to dock off Kelly's income.

So shall we scrap Kelly's disability living allowance and mobility allowance completely, saving £6,305? Despite the fact that these are benefits that would not be withdrawn if she was working? Despite the fact that without them she would probably find it impossible to even look for work? I know someone in a wheelchair who has to pay £44 for a taxi every time she wants to go shopping, so Kelly's mobility allowance probably covers one shopping trip a week.

As far as I can estimate, the figure of £60,000, that Kelly says she needs to make it worth her while working, does not take into account the benefits she would continue to receive if she got a job.

So, in answer to the questions I posed earlier:
  • Kelly gets such high benefits chiefly because of an unusual combination of a large family and physical disability. All 50.000 of the families affected by the benefit cap probably fit this profile.
  • Can her benefits be reduced without causing her and her children undue hardship? Yes, but not to anywhere near the £26,000 level.
  • Is such a high level of benefit a disincentive to work? Apparently not in Kelly's case, and since many of the benefits she gets would be retained if she was at work, this is a question to which the answer is no. However, I wonder why we think it important to get a disabled woman with four children, two of whom are under three, into work at all.
  • Are working parents on a median wage actually worse off than Kelly? Since they have access to many of the benefits she has, I'd say probably not.
So, now I'd like you, dear reader, to explain to me how you think Kelly should adapt her lifestyle to live on £26,000 a year.


dougf said...

"So, now I'd like you, dear reader, to explain to me how you think Kelly should adapt her lifestyle to live on £26,000 a year."
Without 'undue hardship' I suppose. And by hardship I guess that includes losing the Sky+ and the games consoles now littering the place.

VERY bluntly put I really don't care how she does it. That's her problem to solve. What I do care about is the NO MONEY LEFT ANYWHERE thingy. EVERY and I do mean EVERY case no matter how egregious it might appear on its face, can be explained to be 'fair' if you work a little at it. I don't think it legitimate for her to have her present 'comfortable lifestyle' when the State providing that lifestyle is bleeding slowly to death, and millions of others are or are going to suffer as a result. I'll bet those millions don't have Sky+.

So let me ask a question in return. How does a State continue to spend money it does not have to support those who are used to a certain lifestyle ? I'm pretty damn sure that if you worked at it you could find examples of working families who have it much worse than this woman who has had 4 children by 3 different men, despite the fact she carries a VERY bad genetic flaw. It's her choices that have made the situation what it is today.
Bluntly it's like killing your parents and then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court because you are now an orphan.

People are now officially sick of this OBVIOUSLY wrong system. They are not going to become less sick as time goes on.

Liberal Neil said...

I may have got the details wrong, but my understanding is that the £26K benefits cap does not apply to people on disability benefits?

But answering your first question, the way to reduce her benefits total without undue hardship is to reduce the level of either Child Benefit or Child Tax Credits, or to remove the indirect benefits that claimants get.

The benefits system gives far more money to claimants than most working people have to spend on their children.

The average household will not have anywhere near £10K to spend on their kids each year after housing and utility costs. (I am excluding Child Benefit here because all families get that).

In our household, a bit above average income, we have never had that much to spend after tax/NI, housing costs and basic utilities on our children.

Looking at from the other end, even excluding her disability benefits, if she is on £27K then this is the equivalent of a working person earning £35K.

Someone on the median wage (£26K)will almost certainly be worse off than her. For a start they will pay tax and NI on their earnings, which means that their net income is around £20K. On that level of income they would be entitled to around £6K in tax credits (a good example in itself of how barmy the system is - take £6K of tax off them to pay it back to them in tax credits). But they will not be entitled to all the other benefits that Kelly gets, such as free school meals (£1672 pa at our kids school's prices).

And on £26K they almost certainly won't be able to afford such a nice house to live in.

Jane said...

You are right about the disability benefits, but that creates an anomaly doesn't it? To the grief of the Daily Mail, Kelly will keep all her benefits, but why should she have more to maintain her four kids than someone who is not disabled? I suppose the devil is in the detail.

The withdrawal of benefits in kind for working families clearly creates a disincentive to work, and I'd agree with you about that, although I'd prefer the benefits to continue for working families, rather than be withdrawn for large families on benefits. I grew up in a family pressed for cash and my mother had me come home for dinner rather than pay my lunch money. I did get fed by mum, in a fashion, but I didn't grow at all between age 7 and 11, at which point I was diagnosed with malnutrition.

I may be wrong, but I think the median household income of £26,000 is actually the net income, not gross. I've been unable to discover where this figure quoted by the Treasury comes from. The latest figures I've found from the ONS give a final median income (that is after tax but including cash benefits) of £42,822 for two adults with children, so £26,000 is actually considerably below the sum that most families have to care for their children.

The point being made most strongly by charities such as Touchstone is that the cap will fall most heavily on two adult households with several children and thus will cause relationship breakdown, prevent single parents forming relationships and in some cases cause children to be taken into care. Even if all you care about is the public purse, more will be lost than saved.

Liberal Neil said...

As I understand it Kelly shouldn't end up with more money to look after her kids, but with more money to deal with the costs of her disability.

There is not a huge difference between the median Original Income and the median Final Income (as the ONS describe them) which makes some sense.

If Kelly's total income is £37K then her household income will be towards the top end of the fourth quintile.

I am happy to accept that the median Final Income for two adult households with two children is likey to be higher than average. But it doesn't change the fact that many bring up their families on less than the level many others get in benefits.

Surely though the real point is what is necessary to ensure families don't live in poverty, and I would argue that £26K is enough to ensure that. (In fact, if you accept any of the common definitions of poverty - such as 60% of median income - such families are by definition not in poverty)

Sian Wood said...

I would just like to point out that I am the cause of Kellies "genetic flaw", having EDS myself but why would I not go on to have more children - 2 after Kellie - when it has never caused me a days sickness in my life and never have I claimed a penny in disability benefits. One other daughter has it but manages to work 32 hours per week and attend university.

Kellie Cottam said...

Can I first correct a few things?
This is completely missing the point but until the matter is cleared up people are not going to focus on the matter in hand...

The daily mail took a story in my local paper and changed the angle..

First my point is that as a mother with a disability I want to be able to support my own family, and disability needs but my disability hits many different health and safety issues therefore leaving me dependent on the social system. However I do not believe that the money spend is done in away to empower people to move forward and can better be used in other ways..

But to clarify as everyone seems to have a bee in there bonnet..

I live in rented accommodation because I keep my children out of social housing,, I move on a regular basis which is unstable, and I can not have adjustments needed. My argument is that I should be able to purchase a house providing stability and adaptations that would give me the independence to live and support my family instead of being dependant on carers..

One,,, toys everywhere.. I spent £30 buying out an ex carbooter,,, all my children’s toys are brought from car boots or second hand...

My son brought his own x box saved up from Christmases, birthdays and odd jobs.. There is only one consol that is also doubled up as a DVD player,, and he hires and swaps games with his friends..

I have sky as when the change over’s happened, buckshaw is a new development and has no signal and in fact we didn’t bother with a TV for 8 months, however with the budgets, I decided to change to sky. One is a free sky box, and I pay the lowest package, and the only TV I watch is political and god TV.

My TV is not HD, or plasma and I have had it since my divorce.

What else was it,,, Oh the house.. A four bed house to small for us and not suitable for my disability. and the rent is £650, and I receive £540 housing benefits.

There was a breakdown in benefits in the Chorley guardian, which explained I do not receive this all in hand and do not live a comftable life and most covered my disability needs.

It also explained that I have a serious disability and I tick all the boxes to never having to work, but I want to and choose to.. My argument it that all people with a disability can work in the right area with the right support but that benefits does not have a bridge so this to happen.

I am happy to answer any questions, but first you have to except that even if I was to choose to stay none working that a person with a disability unable to work should not be in poverty. No one should be..

Sorry this is a quick reply.. I will do better next time...

Jane said...

Thanks Kellie. Any way of getting a link to the Chorley Guardian? I'll do a search and see if I can find the article.

Jane said...

Kellie -- I've tried to find the original Chorley Guardian article on the web, but can't find one which details your benefits, only a repeat of the Mail article. Sorry about that.

There are a several things I don't understand in your post. Firstly, why do you think it important to keep your kids out of social housing? A lot of people think that the answer to Britain's housing crisis is to build a lot more social housing. Would you be against that?

Secondly, can you explain why you have to keep moving, which prevents you having a house adapted for your disability?

While I'm more on your side than the Daily Mail (not difficult), I would not support any policy which enabled someone in your position to buy their own house. I don't think you'd find it such a good option as you think either, because a home owner is responsible for the maintenance of their property and that can be a huge financial drain.

I think that what you are saying is that you'd like to live in a house adapted for your disability while still being suitable for your children. That would actually save the state money because you would not need so much help from carers, and you would be more likely to be able to work. However, your priority is to provide a good environment for your children to grow up in, so you want to avoid living on a council estate with social problems.

Is that correct?

Kellie Cottam said...

But hi there. Sorry the last blog was so short.

I had replied a number of times but it didn’t either go through or the PC crashed and I managed to get a five minute window.

I think the web link to the guardian was only a short version; I do have a copy of the original if you would like me to email it to you. It was separated into four sections but written in such away to shoot a bullet. The article went from the front page of our local Chorley guardian, to the Leyland g and page 7 of the Lancashire evening post.
Still the full story not told, I was interviewed by Granada reports, and then BBC Northwest again a great interview but very much edited. The article snowballed into the Express, Daily Star, Daily Mail and I later appeared on Day Break (3 min). You have to remember the media has only one agenda to sell a story, and it doesn’t matter how watered down, how twisted, or who edited.
So I will explain.
I came into the benefit system through divorce - I was 24 and a single mother of two children. I had had a few jobs, serving teas, coffees and two cleaning jobs at a hospital, worked in a chip shop, packing plug ins, Tupperware, Kleenex, Ann Summers, a few bits and bob. When we moved to NI I became a co-coordinator for NIFYCS Northern Ireland Forces Youth and Community Services, I started off as a volunteer taking a number different qualifications in part time youth and community, qualified as a netball and football. I played netball, rounders and summer and winter sports, I was on different committees and went to the gym, ran. I had always been active, even as a child I did a number of different martial arts, majorettes, athletics in all areas, football, rounder’s, netball, colour guard, bowled, I had always had problems with my knees, hips and bowels.
I had a number of investigations done, but never anything found. I would partake in something and would leak from the bowels often being off school with stomach flu as they called it. I would cry with the pain in my knees and back but would get on with it just strapping them for sports. My hands started playing up and I would struggle with writing but I just ignored it.
My birth with Liam had a few complications and I wasn’t able to carry full term, but no known reason. My pregnancy with Daniel was a different matter, I was in and out of hospital with bleeding, and really started to struggle with my hips and knees, and would get very tired often having to keep pushing myself the fact I has a three year old to look after and was still working. I spent three months in hospital often only out for a week and back in; from 29 weeks I went into labour and was in hospital on a drip to stop the contractions finally giving birth at 38 weeks.
I still continued to work, but a few months in my body just gave in and I was backwards and forwards to the hospital and doctors for tests. It was my son Liam who was diagnosed before me as he use to dislocate his shoulder, and then the doctors confirmed I to had Ehlers Danlos syndrome. I was 21, and told that had I been believed before things would of never had got as far as it did. I found it hard I was advised to give up all my sports and look at being more paper work based at the youth centre.
On a trip with the youth centre I fell and damaged my cocksit, taking me out for a few weeks, but I continued to have problems and still to this day I sit at an angle or slouch.
The ligaments’ that flex over my knuckles no longer have any stability and I regularly sublox all my fingers, and the ligaments’ in my wrists mean that my ulna bone is permanently out of place, and the join to the hand and arm is permanently subloxed. The bone that runs from my wrist to my elbow flexes in and out, and my right shoulder no longer has any stability.

kellie cottam said...

I finally left work and my sports occasionally still pushing myself to coach, I started just coaching youth netball but I found it to hard and I couldn’t demonstrate skills and I just missed playing. When I gave up netball I died... I started getting depressed, I ended up with an eating disorder going down from a health ten stone to six and half I had lost of problems that can to light and I just found the whole dealing with pain to much. My ex husband had to take a lot of time off work and we asked to be transferred back to my home town so I could be near my family. But I didn’t have a relationship with my family and the support was not there, so Graham got a companionate discharge from the army and we moved up north to be near his family. I was already using a wheel chair to go out on days, now that was a real fight and took me long time if never to adjust but I was just to tired and in a lot of pain and at the time I needed up on morphine.

We moved and I started to get a balance with my body, not a great one. I had a catheter and ended up with a perminate super pubic. Because I was in a new area and around Graham’s family I did well to hide my struggles and I had accepted that surgery couldn’t be done, and had an amazing doctor. He ignored all my medical notes as they where contradictory and he treated me as an individual, it was around this time I started having abnormal smears and was treated with something I can’t spell.

I still used a chair for going out, but then started core stability and intensive physio, I was already on DLA but daily it was doctors, hospital, physio or something. I stopped taking medication and started using cannabis under doctors knowledge. In fact it made a huge difference even just in the fact that I had the willpower to take control. I went through ups and downs but more whenever I let my family back into my life, more emotional but would knock me on my backside.
I got a lot of stability back, still had problems but wore braces. And then I met my next door neighbour who worked in the youth services and we talked about me retraining to return to work but in a writing projects level rather than being hands on.

kellie cottam said...

The problem being, we couldn’t afford for me to retrain. But this caused arguments. We could afford for Graham to smoke, spend £100 on a Friday night out with the lads, but not for me to go to University. So I was destined to stay at home, that was my role anyway to stay at home with the kids, Graham had never wasn’t me working anyway. And I couldn’t hold a job as I was unpredictable, I child minded for a few months.

But anyway, we separated. It was a nightmare still living together in court about the house and money. So in the end I walked out and went to stay with another student from college. Oh I went to college anyway. But only because Graham withheld the finances I was entitled to income support.
I went on a roller coaster and could write a book about this chapter of my life, but anyway it was decided by doctors and benefits that I was unable to work in my chosen career, and unfit for normal jobs and under qualified for jobs I maybe able to do. So the only choice was to retrain.

kellie cottam said...

So that’s what I did.
I went to university with the intentions of studying the transition in abuse victims and attributions.
Uni was a challenge but I became course rep, departmental rep, facilities rep, and student mentor.
This is where I found my passion. What you have to understand is when you die to a disability you lose you identity and I lost mine, but I found a new me in being a rep. In fact I ended up with a number of award, I represented Preston at high levels, and I was privilege to support a number of students from sexual and emotional abuse. But on the work front I was not able to do a work placement, and it was in the second year that my voice box collapsed and for me to return to uni a risk assessment was carried out and I was only allowed in building where the first aider knew the process.

kellie cottam said...

This alone was a challenge, having tubes put down your throat while awake, laughing and your airways closing, taking a deep breath and collapsing.
I still have physio but I manage to control this and know when it can be a problem. I’m sick a lot, and I gag and cough. But for the last year or so I’ve really managed to get in under control. The diagnoses vocal cord dysfunction as a side of EDS where the ligaments’ around the cords are weak and close on over use and are not strong enough to open themselves. But that was only finally resolved four years after the problem started; it was a very hard time, very scary, and very confusing. Not just for me, but for my boys to, they have seen me tubed and in an ambulance, at one point they were to scared to leave me, hell I was scared for them to leave. I didn’t have family around, I was a single mother, and I was living in an area I didn’t really know people and I was hiding my struggles from people.
I again had treatment for abnormal cells, this time pre cancer.
I ended up omitting my dissertation as a number of things went on at that time and I didn’t feel I could do it, but I did graduate. But I couldn’t go any further, I couldn’t fund a masters, and funding doesn’t, and without a work placement I couldn’t get an interne. My mum had offered to pay, but I only new as my sister told my friend but that fell through. I tried tax driving; I tried working in a bar, yes behind benefits back. But you can do permitted work and earn up to £92 a week, but I never lasted long enough. Being at uni, having two children and disability and working narrrrrrrr.
I got help in and it was not fair on the children, I was able to hid a lot of bits from friends, it was only my close friends who knew the ins and outs, and I did well to hid at home when I was struggling. Going home became the challenge, but I only went once a year, maybe once every other year so I just went in the summer when im at my best and avoided problems. Mornings, that was hard to hide but I did it. My family hated me where my braces and I would feel judged, told I wasn’t believed. And I just hated going home.
Relationships where hard.... and when your in the benefit system it’s even harder.
But I continued to study even though I wasn’t at uni, I went on course, I read books, I studies and I studies, that’s what I did with most of my time. I got involved in projects, I was still mentoring students, I attended Pact meetings, I was on the PTA, and my house was a youth centre.
I completed a coaching course, did programmes on NLP, CBT, I’ve pretty much covered all the areas I would of done for my masters and PHD, and I have been in an out of most services that support people and studies there mission statements, ethos, and either worked with, or been part of the system.
I have accepted that I can not work in employment as I will never have consistent support and health and safety will always be an issue. So I have continued with the university on a social entrepreneur programme and studied on Anthony Robbins course and Jack Canfield, I’ve read the books, studies the course and been on the programmes. I have attended work shops by members of the dragons den, and others alike, and been mentors by amazing leaders. I have met with number of PMs, councillors.
I feel in love, but the relationship was one of domestic violence and where promises where broken to which a child was born and on separating I found out I was pregnant again.
These have been challenging births, Aaron resulted in a transfusion, and Faith I was advised to terminate. When you go through what I did for 8 months it changes you, I was induced 4 weeks early and have a theatre team on hold.

kellie cottam said...

I has already in my life studied many different religions, faiths and spiritual practices, I went away on Buddhist retreats, going to weekly mediation classes, sat through Catholic services as my children go to a Catholic school and have both taken holy communion, been to harchrisna, Karbala, Mormon, C of E, Methodist, pres, alternative spiritual practises. A year ago I was baptised and left my past in the water. I have an exceptional strong Faith and I know what my purpose is and I am stepping forward in faith to complete my mission.
The only thing, was when I went to the benefit centre to go self employed there was no ladder for me to come off benefits, I can change over to working tax credits but there is an 18 to 24 week paper work back log, and they do not take all benefits into consideration. On total it came to £37.000 not including prescriptions, dental, opticians, motability.(oh and tax and NI) Of course I will always be intilited to disability, but my aim to be completely away from the system, in fact I’m going for total financial freedom.
I have had great experiences that have taught me well and prepared me to do what I’m about to do, I am not being mentored by a British entrepreneur James Greenwell, director of one group and a ex Olympic completer, and the director of proto-col who specialist is collagen products. Currently there is no research in a person with a collagen deficiency taking a collagen product so I have become there case study, over seen by Dr Steffen Oesser, head of collagen research institute, and Professor Greg Whyte celebrity advisor.
I have a great team around me, but to start small and work my way up my body couldn’t cope. I still have all the same problems I just deal with it differently and I slip three of my disks two to three times a week. And now I have four children.

kellie cottam said...

I have designed a project that I am currently writing and aim to have the licences ready to pass on in January. I am currently trialling a number of these in my home area, and building a team for the launch of challenge Britain, it is not just aimed at benefits, but in stead of taking a leap out of it which I could do with endorsements; I am creating a ladder for others to do the same.
I don’t have to work, I want to, I need a purpose driven life and to honour god. But the system doesn’t work, its fragmented, and rules and regulations are two dimensional where as live is three, and more so the mind sets of the individuals in limited and confided. And in this world money is making the world go round. I believe money is a piece of paper for an exchange of time and services, so I have created a work force where people with limited money can still put back into society through credits for services, whether voluntary.
My reason for the article was to shoot a bullet that would give me a voice and to highlight the issues not being looked at, it was all about cuts and not a service and many people were going to fall into a pit within the system. I am working closely with organisations to recognise that people with disability with the right retraining and support can still have a purpose and should have one. Look at what Steven hawks did, but some people have money to start with.
I have lived in the big society within the army and I know it works.
I have a number of tried and tested solutions and by launching myself out there is stops me hitting the winter and hibernating as I usually do.
But there are steps missing for me to move forward and just as the big guy in the labyrinth did, I am creating them as I move forward and pathing away for others. The focus on single mums returning to work is to get a job, and I believe everyone deserves a purpose life, not just going to work to pay the bills, and more so a single mother does the job of two especially where there is not maintance. I have three fathers and receive no maintance, but two support the children through other means and are active member of society.
My medical is being done in the media to stop all the comments around the area and I am supporting hidden disabilities’, I wish my mother well, but I have no relationship with her but I wish her well.

I will discuss other issues with you on later blogs, as its now half four, and im shattered and in bits. I haven’t even read this back. Feel free to find me on face book and switch details
All the best
Kellie Cottam

steve maher said...

Hi kellie,
You keep doing what your doing, those that know you know that given the choice you would work every hour god sends. Dont let small mined people that have no idea of your background get you down. x

Jane said...

Kellie, my apologies for the delay in publishing your last comment about your project. For some reason it ended up in the "spam" box on blogger. I have no idea why, since that didn't happen to any of your other comments. Anyway, I found it today and published it.

Jane said...

I've received two anonymous comments about Kellie by one person or two who claim to know her. Both make claims which if untrue are, I think, defamatory, and for all I know are complete lies by someone who has never met Kellie. For that reason I've decided not to publish them.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for kellie,she has a mother like I had. My mother had dislocated knees,osteoarthritis all manner of problems,my grandad did too. When I was little I had a lot of joint probs,aphysio said I should have my leg braced. My mum said I was a drama queen. I went on to get married,work,have children amd numerous miscarriages. in the end my children had to eat noodles,I was in and out of hospital,hubby working 60 hours plus per week,we lost our house,husband lost job due to looking after me and children. After 23 years of hard graft husband gave up work to be fulltime carer and house husband. Incidentelly my eldest daughter was born with congenital bilateral hip dislocations,she spent two years in hospital,I didnt know then what condition we had,surgery is not a good thing,my child had three operations,her hips are now deformed,she is also in denial,wondering what is wrong with her,my son has eds,he has been having physio,trouble is one minute you can walk,the next you are totally helpless as all the joints sublax,especially as we have a much wider range of movement in our joints. I feel guilty as hell,wondering what use am I. I thought the daily mail were horrid,wow fancy having a sky box,I cant do a lot,if I do it totally wrecks me,watching telly is nice,we dont smoke,drink or socialise,hubby gets involved with all the kids clubs etc, he has worked damn hard for years,he is exhausted and his health has suffered. Never mind the plus side is we will probably be dead in another decade.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, I am very sorry for your hardships with your mother and congratulate you for your strength. However, that is not who Kellie's Mum is, she is a kind and loving mother who is always there whenever she is needed, for Kellie and for myself and my younger sister. Kellie pushed EVERYONE out of her life. I know the point of this article and blog is to raise awareness of the benefits systems flaws but I think, like the Daily Mail, you should not believe everything you read. Good Luck with everything.