The chest X-ray in this picture was from a small child with a rare condition known as caudal regression syndrome. This is a congenital disorder that affects children slightly differently but essentially the tailbone and/or part of the spine does not develop. There is almost always some neurological problem, the bladder and bowel functions often do not work, or the legs are affected, and it is sometimes associated with abnormalities of the heart, kidneys and gut. The children are almost always agile and cognitively normal.
When a parent discovers their new child has this condition it is often devastating. But the children I have met have been wheelchair bound with great personalities, sparky and lively, bright as a button, and very keen to get involved in sport and take part in other activities.
This is not a condition to be feared. As a 14 year old girl who has grown up with this condition says “I want to tell you it is not such a bad path, and will be for you, and your family, whatever you make of it. I chose to make it positive road. I’m not saying there aren’t any challenges, there are, but they don’t have to defeat you or define you.”
Having had so many slightly sombre pictures with muted colours recently, I have tried to make this picture full of joy and hope. It contains a picture of glistening glass and joyful street-art.