SHAKIRA Williams, 17, and her brother Thabo, 15, are the primary carers for their mother Nadia. Photo: Ray Ryan


Teenagers appeal for help in caring for their incapacitated mother

TWO Tuam teenagers are appealing for help as they care for their incapacitated mother, despite one being weeks away from sitting her Leaving Certificate exams.

Shakira Williams, 17, and her brother Thabo, 15, are the primary carers for their mother Nadia, who was badly injured in a car accident on the main Tuam to Galway Road near Cummer in 2022.

Nadia’s eldest children Abigail and Samuel are providing financial support to the family, who moved to Tuam from Donegal in 2013, but the day-to-day care of Nadia, who sleeps in a hospital bed in the living room of their Lissadyra home, has fallen to her two youngest children.

Speaking before members of Tuam Municipal District Council last week, Shakira told of how the roles of mother and child have reversed since her mother’s accident. She said she didn’t know if she would be able to sit her Leaving Cert given the amount of school she has missed.

“I’ve been caring for Mom since her accident where she was left with a variety of medical issues from memory problems to sleep apnoea and post-concussion syndrome,” said Shakira.

“I wake her, shower her, dress her and I give her her medication, of which there is a lot to take. I have gone from being her child to being the one who parents her. Instead of focusing on my Leaving Cert, I’ve had to take Mom to her numerous medical appointments, so I’ve missed a lot of school. Keeping my Mom alive is my priority, not my education. I went from being a top student to not knowing if I will even be able to sit my exams.

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