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Young carer speaks about growing up with disabled brother

PUBLISHED: 16:41 20 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:20 31 December 2018

Poppy Kaye and her older brother Thomas Kaye at The Hamlet Charity on Ella Road. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

Poppy Kaye and her older brother Thomas Kaye at The Hamlet Charity on Ella Road. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

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Growing up with siblings can be tough.

Poppy Kaye and her older brother Thomas Kaye at The Hamlet Charity on Ella Road. Picture: Abigail NicholsonPoppy Kaye and her older brother Thomas Kaye at The Hamlet Charity on Ella Road. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

Support worker, Poppy Kaye knows this all too well, as she grew up with her disabled older brother, Thomas.

The 22-year-old, from Attleborough has helped care for her 25-year-old brother who has Lowe Syndrome, a condition that primarily affects the eyes, brain, and kidneys.

Many individuals with the condition have delayed development and intellectual ability ranges from normal to severely impaired.

When she was younger, Miss Kaye didn’t know anything was wrong with her brother.

The Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe Hamlet is a Norwich-based charity, which enriches the lives of children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

She said: “I didn’t really understand that Thomas was disabled, to me he was a normal brother.

“When I was a kid I used to go to the special needs school to see Thomas and other disabled children scared me, I didn’t see my brother like that.”

Growing up on Ferguson Way in Attleborough, the pair had a different life to most other children.

Miss Kaye said: “I remember a girl telling me how fascinating she found it that I was always smiling, even with what I was going through at home.

“It has affected my education quite a lot, as Thomas was really ill when I was in high school, I only came out with three GCSE’s.”

“Even though he had Lowe Syndrome, he would come out and play with me and the other kids in the street and do everything that we did.”

Thomas became partially sited from a young age and had a major problem with his kidney when he was 11.

Miss Kaye said: “It hit us really hard when he was ill, we nearly lost him.

“There was so many complications, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong.”

Thomas has now had two kidney transplants, He also became completely blind earlier this year.

Miss Kaye now works at The Hamlet Charity, helping adults just like her brother everyday.

She said: “I love the atmosphere in the Hamlet, we have so many great and happy students.

“You can be having the worst day and just spending five minutes with some of these kids can make your week so much better.

“I like knowing that I do a job where I’m helping other people, it’s really satisfying.”

To donate to The Hamlet Charity, visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/the-hamlet-centre-trust quoting ‘Evening News’

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