William Sheehan loves playing soccer at his local football club, Mitchelton FC. William also loves superheroes, going to the beach and going to school. William is just like any other eight-year-old kid growing up, except William has spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
The condition means William can’t walk as far or fast as other children his age but is more fortunate than many other with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Whilst spina bifida makes many aspects of William’s life more difficult, it does not stop him from achieving great things and developing like other children. In 2017, William completed the entire 5km course of the SBH SSKB Wheel & Walk event. This was a major accomplishment for William and showed him and his parents that anything is possible.
William’s father Tim is the director of SSKB, the major event partners for the 2019 SSKB Wheel & Walk. The Wheel & Walk has been a big part of the Sheehan’s lives with William progressing each year from doing the walk in a pram to walking part of the way and now the entire course. William’s friends now join in the walk with him to support William and the work SBH Queensland do for people with Spina Bifida.
William’s parents Elizabeth and Tim Sheehan found out that William had spina bifida at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Their first port of call for information and support was SBH Queensland. It was a difficult period with people suggesting the option of termination as their child could have a poor quality of life.
The Sheehan’s refused to give their child anything but the best chance in life as they have done with their three other children before William entered the world.
“It was devastating, you grieve a lot for the life you want for your child.” Ms Sheehan recalled.
“You come to the point of acceptance and take each day as it comes.
“We have the same goals and aspirations for William, as we do for all our children.”
William was one of the lucky ones with spina bifida, not requiring immediate surgery at birth. Many people with spina bifida can not walk, but at the age of four, William took his first steps and has been progressing ever since.
The Sheehan’s are grateful for the help SBH Queensland have provided the family along the journey with education and therapy which has been instrumental in William’s development. William has dreams just like any eight-year-old kid. William wants to be a professional footballer for Manchester United and when he retired from football, work with his Dad at SSKB.