"I thought he was normal": The heartbreaking words of a stranger to this woman's son.




Shannon-Tay Draper has a wonderful little boy.

More than wonderful: he’s strong, determined, and incredibly sweet.

But, for many people who don’t Shannon’s son personally, they make quick and judgemental assumptions about him.

After letting many of their glances and intrusive questions go, Shannon has decided to share one of the most heart-wrenching experiences.

Shared by the Today show, Shannon writes:

“Today I was at the shops when this lady commented on the pretty little girl I had next to me.

I explained she is a he then she noticed his tube hanging from his tummy and before she thought what she was saying she said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry I thought he was normal.’

I was lost for words and heart broken. Usually I let this sort of thing slide right of [sic] but I looked at my beautiful little boy and the weeks actually years we have had I thought, how dare you.

In the car I sat and everything flooded through me.

These were the greatest lessons we learnt from our mums. (Post continues after video.)

This woman has no idea the pain this little boy endures every day. She has no idea that those tubes keep him ok and provide him his nutrition or that every night we hook him up to pumps and CPAP to keep him ok.

This woman has no idea that he’s had countless surgeries, procedures, therapies, so many needles that he no longer has veins left.

This woman has no idea that this little boy had so much therapy to help him sit, stand, walk, talk and so much more.

But most importantly was that this woman has no idea how amazing this little boy is and that he is very normal and that she must have the most emptiest life why????? Because she doesn’t have him.”

The post has been shared nearly over 700 times and has had over 1000 people comment their support.

One person wrote to Shannon, offering some advice that has helped her cope with similar situations:

“Don’t ‘pay it back’ instead ‘pay it forward’ ….. my four month girl had a nasal gastric tube plastered to her face… a complete stranger spoke to me in the supermarket ….. She simply said, ‘It’s okay it gets better,’ ……….

Yes we’d already had too many negative looks and comments, so I took a page from these kind words.

Now if I ever see someone in similar circumstances I smile and say, ‘It’s okay it gets better’. That small sentence gave me more comfort and courage than I’d had for a long time. So pay it forward and encourage someone else you see with similar circumstances.”

With another adding:

“This lady sounds like she has no idea in general!

My 4yr old was born with a genetic disorder which means she’s extremely tall and skinny. I’m down in Melbourne visiting family and today I took my daughter shopping. I couldn’t believe the amount of middle aged women who would very obviously look my daughter up and down and then comment to whoever they were with on her appearance.

I felt like walking up to them and putting them back in there box, it infuriates me but I remembered that my actions were being watched by my little girl. She needs to know that everyone is born different and that’s what makes us all special, I also need to teach her to tolerate idiots???? . Your little man is perfect, hold your head up high mamma, you’re doing a great job Xo”

And, we couldn’t agree more.

Image via Today.