Hi, I’m Richard. I have OI type III. I was born on the 02 December 1993 and live in a seaside town called Troon which is on the west coast of Scotland.
Doctors told my mum and dad just the night before I was born that I was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I was born with several broken limbs and fractured ribs. The doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t last a day because my condition was that severe, however, they were wrong; I’m still here and I will be for a long time.
Unfortunately for me I have never been able to learn how to walk because my legs are too weak and I also have a curved spine (Scoliosis). Since the age of three, I have been driving an electric wheelchair which is probably like walking except using wheels to get around places and doing everyday tasks.
I have broken and fractured that many times over the years I’ve lost count, it shows you how delicate I am.
Having this condition I have been very fortunate over the years by not getting much surgery on my bones or anywhere else in the body. The last surgery that I had was getting metal caps put in my mouth to replace the top and bottom back teeth.
Being in a wheelchair isn’t that difficult really. It doesn’t stop me from doing much, it gives me a lot of independence and opportunities such as going out to see the world by visiting different countries, going out with friends and family, cooking the dinner, dancing on the dance floor, playing the ukulele and playing power wheelchair football which I am enjoying at the moment.
Out of the whole family, I am the only one the that has OI, and I feel honoured to be the first one in the family to have the condition. My parents brought me up the same way as my two older brothers Greg and Neil. They didn’t wrap me up in cotton wool all the time because I have brittle bones and using a wheelchair they were and still are encouraging parents who are always willing to let me try different things.
The Brittle Bone Society has been supporting us since I was born. They have helped to raise funds for great quality wheelchairs and giving us medical support. If it wasn’t for the Society my life would be completely different.