Pictured above: Leanne Moore, Siobhan Mungovan, George McMahon and Richard Lynch. Picture: Oisin McHugh.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live with a severely debilitating medical condition, whilst trying to live the life of normal 28 year old young Irish woman? My Journey with Spina Bifida: Me and My Backbone is the coming-of-age story of Siobhán Mungovan, a tenacious country girl from Clare whose motto in life is “Keep Smiling Always”. The book is written with Clare-based, award-winning, journalist Carol Byrne.
Through her comedic turn of phrase, we learn it is not all that different to anybody else’s life. What is different is Siobhán’s unique ability to grab life with both hands and live in the moment. This outlook on life has helped her achieve things that seemed impossible to many. She has truly broken the stereotype. The day of Siobhán’s birth should have been a joyous occasion, but a diagnosis of Spina Bifida left her parents devastated. The prognosis offered little hope; Siobhán would never walk, she was most likely brain damaged and, they as parents, should not expect her to lead a full long life. However, in a miraculous turn of events, Siobhán defied all these odds and took her first steps aided by the family dog “Major”. Using him for support she was able to develop and maintain her extraordinary walk and she hasn’t stopped moving since. Life in size one shoes hasn’t been easy but Siobhán has taken some giant steps along her journey. She has been confronted with scoliosis, hydrocephalus, renal failure, dialysis, coping with depression, and a decline in lung function, in addition to the everyday issues that any young woman growing up in Ireland faces.
The book is currently available from Book Hub Publishing here and in local and regional bookshops.
The book is available now in O’Mahonys bookstore on O’Connell Street.
For more information please contact Book Hub Publishing on 087 953 1483 or email [email protected]. Siobhán is available for interview by calling 087 269 0363 Carol is available for interview by calling 087-9104451.