A CHALKE Valley author who has faced traumas in her life, has written a new book to give others hope.

Sally Pringle has released A Foreign Land, her debut book, inspired by her experiences of having a deaf/blind son, who was born with a rare and “devastating” metabolic condition; the family’s move to New Zealand, and the difficulties that followed.

“Basically, I felt fairly compelled to write it because of the experiences which I had faced in my life,” she explains.

Sally’s first son Rupert was born with a peroxisomal enzyme disorder which to begin with had doctors stumped and took quite some time to diagnose.

“At the time none of the doctors knew anything about it because it was so rare,” says Sally.

Rupert was diagnosed as being blind and later lost his hearing as a result of the disorder.

“I talk in the book about all the newness of discovering a new country and New Zealand was the farthest I could go. I had never been there before, apart from a two-week holiday.

“It was quite traumatic, arriving in this foreign country with a baby - we didn’t know much about his illness at the time,” continues Sally.

“It is about my life caring for a disabled child, about a special needs baby, how I had to adjust and cope and how people reacted to me in a different way which I wasn’t anticipating. Some people were really unkind and stared at us like we were something from Aliens.

“It is appealing to what other parents have gone through when they’ve had a special needs baby or a disabled child. The unexpected things that you have to deal with, and all the traumas and struggles of day to day life.”

She added: “Obviously as a new mum you have loads to learn anyway, but when you have a child with special needs it is completely different. That is why in some ways the book is called A Foreign Land - a foreign land because I went to New Zealand but also it was a foreign land having a baby with special needs.”

She hopes the book will help others in similar situations.

Sally also talks about the death of Rupert at the tender age of seven and having to deal with the grief of losing a child.

“Throughout the time I’ve stayed really hopeful and positive,” admits Sally, who has seen parents struggle with the grief and who are not always able to feel happy again.

“You have got to see the other side. They wouldn’t want you to be miserable. You’ve got to move on and keep living.”

“I’m hoping the strength of positivity and hopefulness comes through in the book. It’s portraying that for people, to take some hope from.”

Names in the book have been changed. A Foreign Land is available in paperback and eBook via Amazon.