#MumStory is a series by The Singapore Women’s Weekly to uncover the underrated and underreported moments in motherhood and parenting — because we believe every mum has a story worth telling. Got a story to share? Email us at email@example.com or slide into our DMs on Instagram.
One of the hardest things a parent can encounter is when their child is born with a disability. For Australian Nicola Gennaoui, who has lived in Singapore for the last 12 years, it started when her son Raphael suffered a fetal-maternal haemorrhage, leading to severe brain damage. On day 10 of her son’s life, Nicola learnt that he had severe cerebral palsy — the doctor said he would likely not make it past his first birthday. However, Raphael defied all odds. Now, the six-year-old boy attends therapy with a smile on his face.
Caring for a child with disabilities is not easy. Nicola, who has three other children, has had to employ a full-time helper, and stays by her son’s side during the night while he has seizures. She and her husband also struggled financially with their son’s therapies, and with getting the necessary equipment for him.
Read on for her #MumStory.