A Poem by Morgan Bennet-Murphy
23-year-old Morgan Bennett-Murphy was born with three fingers on each hand, undergoing multiple reconstructive surgeries. At two years old, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. Five years later, she underwent her first spinal correction surgery. Morgan is longtime supporter of Easter Seals Ontario and has been a regional ambassador for Windsor-Essex. She has since grown into a confident, accomplished young woman and advocate for youth with disabilities.
Morgan is a talented writer and authored this poem which was published in our fall 2021 donor newsletter:
This Is My Story
October 9th, 1998 That’s where my story begins. I was born a little different than others. For years, I believed I wasn’t good enough, because I wasn’t like everyone else. This is how I rose above my obstacles. I was born with 3 fingers on each hand, and had multiple reconstructive surgeries. I once believed that they were so cool! But for some reason, people have a problem accepting others for their differences. At 2 years old I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I had a 40 degree curve by the time I was 4. I wore a back brace to try and prevent it from further rotation, but it just didn’t help. By the age of 7 my lungs felt like a huge boulder was resting on top of them. Every step I took and word I spoke, it felt like someone was taking my breath away. The doctors thought maybe it was asthma But my spine curved more, to 60 degrees, and it was compressing my lungs to the point where only 50% of my left lung was functioning. May 2006. 7 years old. My first back surgery I said goodbye to my mom. Walked down the narrow, never ending hallway, with doctors who wore scary white masks. I walked into this huge room, this time I was old enough to remember exactly what it looked like. Huge machines as loud as thunder. Tools that looked like battle equipment. It is not something every 7-year-old enjoys seeing. I laid down on a table as cold as ice, and they told me to start counting down from 10. 9… 8... As they placed this scary mask on me 7… 6... It started to get quiet 5... My eyes started to fade 4… 3... 2... 18 hours later I finally woke up. 3 days later I stood up for the first time, and I kept going and going and going. I felt like a skyscraper! Surgery number 1, success. Then came along surgery 2 3, 4, 5... 10. Each surgery I got taller and taller. Stronger and stronger. I felt unstoppable, and STILL people made fun of me. For being short. For having no muscle. As if I had a choice? Scoliosis wasn’t some walk in the park. Scoliosis was literally a pain in my back. A living hell. Even now after everything should have gotten better, my spine is still curving. I’m still losing weight. My lungs are still being compressed. But, on the bright side Even though I’m physically weaker, I’m mentally stronger. The more I go through, the more I fight, the stronger I feel, And I built up what was knocked down. For the longest time, people made me feel Like I had to hide my hands and my scars Or I wouldn’t belong. I don’t want to belong anymore I want to be able to show who I really am. I used to be, embarrassed of who I was. How silly was I letting people tell me how to feel. I realized, I shouldn’t care what others have to say about me They don’t know me. I used to be, scared of meeting new people. I realized that even though it was hard to find friends, once I had them, I knew it was real. I used to be, petrified to show my scars Thinking they made me less of a person But they are only battle scars and they make me a warrior. I decided I wasn’t going to let people make me feel inferior Or incapable. I cannot control my disability. I’m done letting people make me feel like I’m nobody Because even though I might look a little bit different I can still do anything you can do Just in my own way.