Book Shows How Disability Never Ended Karen

“DETERMINED” is a term that does not do justice to Karen Owen. This is a woman who defied the odds from day one.

Born with scoliosis, she was written off by doctors who advised her parents to forget about her and return home with their two healthy daughters. They said it was very unlikely she would survive and even if she did, she was too brain damaged to enjoy any quality of life.

Yet despite this dire prognosis, Karen not only managed to keep a job for 30 years, she is a member of the Yew Tree Singers and even flew to Australia.

His latest achievement was celebrating his 50th birthday by completing a book about his life. Inspirational and touching in equal measure, it is titled ‘I Can – Defying Medical Opinion’ and chronicles the struggles she has faced and the help Tameside Council has given her as she builds her career.

Karen, who works as a business support officer for the Integrated Emergency Care Team (IUCT) at Crickets Lane in Ashton, said: ‘The reason I’m sharing my story is because I want to talk to people from all the things that I have accomplished. personally and working for the council.

“I have a disability and I use a wheelchair, but that has never stopped me. When I was young, I was always told that I would never accomplish anything in my life and that I was not smart enough to pass exams. I was told I wouldn’t be able to drive a car, but I do.

“The more people say I can’t do something, the more determined I am to prove them wrong. That’s why I titled my book “I Can” – to show how I challenged medical opinion. It took me a long time to write and I’m very proud of it.

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that left Karen with a twisted pelvis. This makes his left leg appear shorter than the right and his breathing capacity is affected. Even so, and in another show of determination, she is able to move very short distances using a Zimmer frame.

Karen joined the council full-time after completing a two-year YTS internship at Mulberry Street Local Tax Unit in Ashton and then for Leisure Services.

Later, she joined social services where part of her job was to provide switchboard coverage. This led to a permanent position as a telephone operator.

She then worked as an account manager at Adult Services before taking up her position at the IUCT.

Karen said: “Throughout my time at Tameside, I received support from my managers to ensure I had all the equipment and support I needed to carry out my daily tasks. .

“I’m very proud to have worked for the council for so long.”

Cllr John Taylor, executive member of the Tameside Council for Adult Social Care, said: ‘Karen’s

book tells a truly inspiring story and shows the incredible things people can achieve with the right mindset and support.

“She overcame so many obstacles. Even though she was disbarred at birth, later dismissed as a tragic case, and then had to deal with operations, jackets and braces, she still managed to carve out a fulfilling career for herself.

“Karen may be proud to work for Tameside Council, but we are equally proud to have her with us.”

Copies of “I Can – Defying Medical Opinion” will be available in due course.

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