Held Back// Hospitalized

In the following poems, Sarah recounts her struggles being held back in school and living with Velo-Cardio-Facial-Syndrome (VCFS).

Photo Cred: Diego Elio Pettenò, Flickr CC, username dscn0607

By Sarah Synk


I got held back in elementary school,
I was one of the oldest students there.
I sometimes liked being the oldest.

By staying back,
I was able to succeed.
There is nothing wrong with succeeding.


Back in the day,
Everything seemed awful.
I got sick when I was a child,
My parents realized
something was wrong with me right away.

I looked awful,
I was turning black and blue,
My parents said I couldn’t breathe
That I was trying to gasp for air.

My family took me to a church
thinking I was gonna die,
The priest at that church baptized me.

My parents cried every day,
I was just too sick,
I was diagnosed with a disability.
My disability?
It is called Velo- Cardio- Facial- Syndrome,
Also known as the DiGeorge Syndrome or 22Q,
This all has something to do with the heart.

They diagnosed me with a broken heart,
Many hospital visits soon after.

When I grew up a bit,
I couldn’t even walk.
Right when I started walking,
My parents were about to leave for vacation.

They got my first steps on the video recorder,
They were happy.
I made em’ proud.

Throughout my childhood,
I had to take P.T. (Physical Therapy) to gain strength…
That way I can sit up straight without any pain.
I had to take O.T. (Occupational therapy)
to strengthen my hands.

One time,
Someone saw a scar near my heart.
They questioned it.
I got extremely embarrassed about it.
I am still embarrassed about my scar today!

I joke that my heart is still broken,
But it’s not!
I try to look at my scar as a symbol of beauty.

Sarah Synk often turns to music and writing as a coping mechanism. She can be contacted at ssynk@worcester.edu amd her blog can be read at https://writingreadingmusic.blogspot.com


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