Shannon’s story

Shannon was hit by a car whilst walking home at 11 years old, her mum Fiona shares Shannon's story and her journey to National Star.

Our daughter Shannon was 11 years old when the accident happened. It was the day before Mother’s Day and just like any other Saturday.

Shannon was happy and adventurous and loved going into town with her friends and that Saturday was no exception. Like many 11-year-olds, she had a very cheeky personality.

Our world stopped when there was a knock on our door. It was a policewoman. There had been an accident. Shannon had been hit by a car whilst walking home. She was in a serious condition and had been air-lifted to hospital. This is every parent’s worst nightmare.

You just don’t believe that something so terrible could ever happen to the child that you have loved and protected for so many years, do you?

Shannon was in a semi-coma. There was no emotion or response. She was wearing a body brace unable to move or speak. I stayed by Shannon’s side whilst Paul stayed at home with Shannon’s brother and sister. She remained in hospital for six months, then spent three months at a rehabilitation centre.

The consultant said it was unlikely Shannon would ever make any improvement. It was heartbreaking to hear those words.

As Shannon’s accident has shown, disaster can strike any one of us, at any time.

When Shannon came home, her rehabilitation began. She started to move her arms and legs and was responding to our communication. One day she gave us the cutest smile and we knew her cheeky personality was still there.

Shannon joined National Star when she was 19. At first Shannon really struggled. She had never been away from home before, or me in fact, except for her time in hospital. After a couple of months, she settled into college life and clicked with the bubbly staff.

Shannon aged 9, Shannon in hospital, Fiona, Paul and Shannon

Shannon is still unable to speak, but she still has lots to say! She communicates via text messages and an AAC device, like a tablet which reads the things Shannon wants to say out loud. And this is how we know she loves it at National Star!

She’s doing things we never thought possible. From directing her own care to popping to the shops which she couldn’t have done before going to National Star.

Thanks to National Star’s dedicated support and expertise Shannon is more confident, more independent, and more in control of her own life.

We’re so proud of her and excited about her future. Shannon is now focusing on living as independently as possible when she leaves college in July.

Without National Star Shannon wouldn’t be who she is today.

National Star is a very special place. It has transformed Shannon’s life.

Please donate today to support National Star’s life changing work with young people with complex disabilities.

Shannon’s mum