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The year is 1946. The setting is a pastoral property in Southern Queensland. Laura Sullivan awaits the birth of her second child, and proceeds to give an account of an uncomplicated delivery of a healthy baby boy.

Born to Fly cover1When Jaimie is eighteen months old he fails to reach the developmental milestones. Laura and her husband, Paul, begin their search for answers. At the age of three Jamie is diagnosed with Gross Mental Deficiency. His parents are told by medical authorities that he will never learn to talk, walk or feed himself, and make the heartbreaking decision to commit their son to an institution. Jaimie’s life may have ended there but for Paul’s decision to remove Jaimie from the asylum and place him in the care of a nanny, Helen Ryan.

The story moves forward to 1980 when a biographer is commissioned to write Jaimie’s story. She visits Helen at her home in Brisbane to interview a frail and somewhat tetchy old woman. Helen tells a compelling story of how a five year old boy, Jaimie, learns to survive in our world and yet retain the richness of his own. Her ground-breaking treatment interventions are detailed and clinically presented. Jaimie’s problem behaviours are analysed and responded to. She teaches a mute child to speak and prepares him for mainstream education. When Jaimie is eight years old he travels to England with his nanny and mother. This adventure broadens his horizons and fosters a close bond between them.

‘Born To Fly’ is a period drama set in Australia and parts of England. The characters portray aspects of life as it was in the 1940s and 50s. Fictional characters have been created to protect the real people in this story.

The reader is invited to take an inspirational journey through joy, suffering, seemingly insurmountable challenges and the inexplicable to enjoy a refreshing account of the determination and resilience of the human spirit.

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