Butterflies and Second Chances

Butterflies and Second Chances is the inspiring true story of a mother’s special needs journey, and her struggle to secure the best possible life for her child in the face of bureaucratic resistance and marital crisis.

About Butterflies and Second Chances

The world Annette Hines knew exploded when her infant daughter Elizabeth was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease–a degenerative, life-limiting illness. Annette’s joy quickly turned to apprehension and she knew nothing would ever be the same again.

Butterflies and Second Chances is the inspiring true story of a mother’s special needs journey, and her struggle to secure the best possible life for her child in the face of bureaucratic resistance and marital crisis. It is a story of sacrifice, dedication, and the life-altering adjustments a special needs parent has to make when confronted with the unthinkable. But most of all, it’s about love and an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship that flourished without words in the darkest shadows of adversity.

Annette and Elizabeth’s powerful story provides hope, solace, and a path forward for parents of special needs children, and it will resonate with families everywhere.

My Thoughts

I have to disclose that I am not the parent of a special needs child but there was something about the book description that really touched me. I had to read this book but I could not quite put my finger on it.

Parenting is hard – we struggle as parents, we have to be an advocate for our child’s health and education, we hurt at their pain and all we want to do is see them happy and healthy. Having had four miscarriages before I became pregnant with my second son, it was a constant battle of fear that I would lose him and that something would go wrong. He was born healthy but has his own health conditions, with food and seasonal allergies, eczema and asthma, we spent a lot of the time at the doctors office. This felt like a non stop upwards battle everywhere we turned, but I can’t even put into words the struggles that Annette went through. I find it hard enough to have someone listen to me about my son’s breathing and allergies – I can’t even begin to imagine myself in her shoes fighting to have someone listen to her concerns and what she felt was right for her daughter or the diagnosis for her.

Her story is beautiful, honest, raw and painful at times. I found myself crying throughout various stages in the story and at other times my heart full of joy for the kindness others can show. Annette shares the good, the bad and the ugly in an honest open manner. You feel like it is a conversation rather than a book and I loved this.

Mother, daughter and sister are fighters and their story is powerful and so very important for everyone to read. We need to understand the emotions, the difficulties but also the beauty that is raising a child with a disability. We as a society need to learn to show compassion and understanding to others – we may never be in their shoes but we can learn to help them. She offers such simple solutions – like going to the parent, preparing paperwork to make their life just a little bit easier. Simple things that others take for granted.

This is a beautiful, raw story of the love between a parent and their child. They fought a courageous battle and I felt so sorry for their loss. I could not put this story done – it is beautifully written and perfect for all adults and even young adults.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Annette Hines is a founding partner of the Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts. She brings personal experience to her practice as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from mitochondrial disease in 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and advocacy and drives her dedication to the practice. Recognized as a Distinguished Citizen by ARC Massachusetts and cited for public service by both the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives, Ms. Hines works tirelessly on behalf of people with disabilities.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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