The Unconventional Mother: How I Nurtured My Daughter with Disability into a Global Leader


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If you think you have seen it all, this is the book that makes you stop. No, you haven’t. The extent that a super hero of a mother goes to keep her daughter alive and functional would fire you up and revise your notes about this thing called life.

Struck at birth by an unexpected combination of strange conditions, the life of a young girl was hanging in the balance from day one. The reader cannot help but be thrilled by how a mother – in the name of God – went to battle with and against science, eventually gifting to us a world-class professional.

Sometimes a medical journal, sometimes a family drama, sometimes a life-and-death page-turner, the episodes in this book involve diverse experts, hospitals across several countries, unusual insights on health as well as a redeeming grace of the highest order. This roller coaster lifesaving journey fortifies your resolve in your own particular struggle. When you finish The Unconventional Mother, the phrase ‘it is possible’ will taste different in your mouth.


by Chief Dele Momodu, Chairman, Ovation Media Group

Let me state without any equivocation that the book you’re about to read is going to be one of the most gripping stories you’ve ever encountered. From the very first line to the very end, I’m certain you will get arrested, just like me, and easily detained in one position till you’re done reading.

The author, Mrs Lydia Bedwei, has penned, in my view, one of the most practical, informative and authoritative books on the complex and complicated medical condition known as cerebral palsy. Despite being familiar with the story of the miracle Lady, Farida Bedwei, in the last two decades, nothing prepared me for the extraordinary details I encountered in this spectacular book. But for the fact that I’m close to Farida and her Mum, I could easily have assumed that I was reading a novel by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. But this is not a fiction concocted by a master storyteller. It is a true-life account of a baby who was born with all manner of complications that could have rendered her totally useless to her family and, indeed, humanity.

Farida is lucky to have an unusual Mum, an intellectual in her own right, a top bookseller in Ghana, who not only made a fortune from selling books but gained tonnes of knowledge in the process. Thus, this book is as scholarly as anything a Professor of Medicine might have written in terms of the volume of information contained therein.

The easy-to-read narrative is broken into nine chapters only, starting with the almost supernatural birth of Farida and the sudden and shocking discovery of a congenital anomaly capable of rendering her incapacitated forever.

Mrs Bedwei accepted the reality of the gargantuan challenges ahead and confronted the epic battle with uncommon equanimity and confidence. It takes someone with a lion heart to do what Mrs Bedwei did – tirelessly − as captured in this book. This is the beauty of this storyline, as a deep repository of the massively useful information and tips on how to handle kids with complications of this nature.

I will not pre-empt your reading of the book by boring you with details ahead of picking up a copy. Rather, you deserve to read and savour this masterpiece in your own time and space, just like I have done. Farida’s story is set in several countries and continents and her Mum has taken us on a tour de force of this powerful trajectory. One thing that I guarantee you is its unputdownbility.

Finally, the beauty of this book lies in its ability to turn what was supposed to be a monumental tragedy for a family into a triumphant comeback that should serve as a reassuring lesson of hope for other families undergoing similar harrowing experiences. Farida has since become a global phenomenon and celebrity and she and her family deserve a standing ovation for this stupendous achievement.


Additional information

Weight 0.45 kg
Dimensions 15.24 × 0.71 × 22.86 cm
Year Published








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  1. 01

    by Isaac Neequaye

    While the title and blurb of “The Unconventional Mother” are undeniably arresting, the story itself is deeply engrossing and illuminating. And also while there are numerous facets to the story, I so admire the author’s determination to apply herself, to learn all she could so as to be in a position to discuss treatments and medical recommendations from an informed position. I don’t think anyone doubts that it must be challenging caring for a physically handicapped child, but coming to grips with the sheer amount of hard work and dedication required is sobering.
    Even though the author was undeniably blessed with resources, she nevertheless strove to utilize them fully, to the best of her ability. And this leads to perhaps the most striking point she makes again and again throughout the story, that it doesn’t require sophisticated and ‘imported’ high tech equipment to make a difference in the care of a handicapped child. Even simple ‘crude’ equipment that can be fashioned by a good artisan can work if applied as instructed by medical personnel. The most important thing is consistency in treatment and a routine that works. The author doesn’t shy away from admitting the toll that caring for her child took on her marriage, and I admire her honesty in being frank about it. “The Unconventional Mother” is a small book, easily readable that packs a big punch of advice. I encourage as many as can to read it, and learn as much as I did.

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The Unconventional Mother: How I Nurtured My Daughter with Disability into a Global Leader


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