An Astonishing Account Of An Astonishing Life
Anne-Pia Nygård was born with curvature of the spine and spent most of her childhood in and out of hospital. Numerous operations improved matters for a short time, but unforeseen problems and, yes, medical mistakes irreparably damaged her spinal cord. By the age of ten she was in a wheelchair. She tells the story of her life in What Nobody Sees, published by Loaghtan Books on 20 September 2012.
It would perhaps have been easier for Anne-Pia to bemoan her fate and resign herself to doing without many of the experiences which make life fun. But she's a fighter. She wanted a career, an independent life, a home, a partner. Never sentimental, she writes in the third person which allows her the objectivity to comment even on her own sufferings:
On the outside she manages to be the smiling and always-positive, brave girl, but gathering inside there is a lot of pain that won't let go and, at the same time, won't let her tell anyone. She has always managed to cope with these thoughts before, hasn't she? She will manage now too.
What makes the book so special is Anne-Pia's unsparing ability to draw her readers inside her own experiences. What Nobody Sees is Anne-Pia's comment not only on the pain and humiliation of her medical condition, but also on her efforts and determination to discount it wherever possible:
I know what it is like to use legs. Once upon a time I could walk. I am now just a statistic. A stigmatised and categorized person. 'The disabled.' That's me. 'The disabled feel discriminated against.' That's me. 'The disabled have a lesser quality of life than others.' That's me. .But first and foremost I am Anne-Pia.
Disability Is A Beginning, Not An End
To buy a copy it can be cheaper from the Loaghtan Books online shop as they don't charge postage.