Kayla’s ABS Story

On October 28th in 1996, a little girl was born, 6 lbs. 12 oz. She was beautiful, thick, black, curly hair, with rosy red cheeks! My name is Kayla Ashley Turner, and this is the story of my life. I don’t have an ordinary life; I was born “special”.

I was born with ABS (Amniotic Band Syndrome). Amniotic Band Syndrome is when the fetus becomes tangled in fibrous string-like bands in the womb, restricting blood flow which affects the baby’s development. I got lucky! I was born with seven fingers and nine toes and a hurt leg.

I have had a total of eight surgeries, two on my leg, and six on my hand. The reason I had the two surgeries on my leg is because the string-like bands wrapped around my leg so tight, there was just skin over the bone. The doctors had to release the band, and now I only have one vein going to my foot. Doing everyday stuff hurts my leg so bad, it’s unbearable. I’m just happy my leg didn’t have to get amputated. I remember one of my surgeries on my hand like it was yesterday.

The hospital was cold, all I could smell was the smell of death and bleach. My mom was sitting in one of the hospitals wooden chairs next to me, holding my left hand. The doctor came in to give me my grape scented sleeping gas mask. The next thing I know is, I’m back in the hospital bed, in my room with my mom. I had a bright pink cast on and a bandage on my left hip. My itch was itching like crazy! My mom yelled at me to stop scratching at the bandage on my hip.

The doctors had taken the skin from my hip and a bone from my right wrist to fix my marriage finger on my right hand. I had come to realize my three missing fingers will never grow. I will always have three baby-like fingers with no nails. The only normal fingers I will ever have on my right hand are my index finger and my thumb. I had to learn to cope with the fingers I do have, which wasn’t easy.

I was naturally a right handed person so; my mom had to teach me how to write with my left hand. I also learned how to crawl with a cast on my left leg and a cast on my right hand. As soon as the cast on my left leg was off, I was walking. By one years old I was potty-trained. I guess you can say I caught on fast.

Nothing about my life is easy, getting out of bed is a struggle. All through middle school kids made fun of me because I had to be in a wheelchair. I always wondered if they knew what I went through, would they feel the same? Would I still be a laughing matter to them or would they stop making fun of me? Nobody with ABS has an easy life. One day a kid at school that used to make fun of me, broke his arm. He got made fun of for having a cast on his arm, and not being able to hold his own books. He came up to me and apologized, he said “Kayla I’m sorry for making fun of you.” I couldn’t believe it.

Now, I’m a sixteen year old, freshman in high school. I’m glad I’ve made it this far! I tend to miss a lot of school now because I decided to not use my wheelchair. Not a lot of people know that I have anything wrong with me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me though. I’m just God’s unique design. The teachers help me out with the work I miss. I hide my hand a lot, I know it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but I don’t feel the need for people to think I’m different, when I’m not. I’m just a normal teenager, trying to fit in a huge high school. A lot of the kids at this school are my friends, or acquaintances.

This is the story of my everyday struggles with ABS (Amniotic Band Syndrome). I’m not a normal kid; I’m God’s unique design. I don’t have a “normal” life story, but I sure do have a unique one. Even with my disabilities, I will change someone’s life. This is a story that will hopefully open your eyes and will make you realize not everybody’s the same, but they do need to get treated equally.