I get tired, so have to pace myself and am not able to see friends and family as much as would like to.
Due to her ME, Makayla is not able to attend school full time. She was forced to give up her favourite sports and hobbies, which included dancing and swimming.
Makayla has tried to combat the social isolation and loneliness she feels through interfaces such as Instagram, where she can make friends who cannot see that she is sick, making her feel more “normal.” However, through 'Invest in ME' and first British user, Jade Gadd, Makayla heard about No Isolation and the solutions we propose. Before having her AV1, Makayla said:
I was behind at school and struggling to get in very often. AV1 means I can do extra hours of school now, while in bed. It takes the pressure off.” Robbie, as she calls her robot, “is part of family now!
Makayla’s Mum, Michelle, has also seen the way in which Robbie and No Isolation have helped improve the quality of Makayla’s life.
I’m more confident about Makayla’s education. When she is struggling she gets frustrated and upset because she feels as though she is behind. Being able to do more, but with her in control, is a massive boost for her. She’s not falling behind anymore!
Makayla said that her friends and school have been very understanding and accepting of her AV1. In class, Robbie gets a lot of attention;
My class gets excited when he’s online and I am using him.
Makayla’s AV1 lives at school, so at the moment she is limited to using it during school hours.
Makayla’s Mum feels Robbie has improved Makayla’s day-to-day life, stating:
This is the first time in 8 years that I’ve had hope with Makayla’s education. Hearing the lessons coming from her bedroom I could have cried. We don’t have a normal life, but Robbie has given her some normality.
Makayla agreed with this saying:
Just the extra hours of being in class have helped me. Exam work has started for my GCSE’s, so Robbie’s helping me to catch up.
Her Mum added:
We are hoping Robbie will help us change people’s attitudes towards ME. We want to make it clear that the illness is not about people not wanting to do things, or not wanting to go to school. It does affect children of any age and these kids want to be better, they don’t want to be sick.
Robbie has helped Makayla open up about her illness, and she is now happier to share that she has ME with others, not only her closest friends.