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Courage To Come Back: Youth award recipient meets every challenge with a smile

Last Updated Apr 18, 2019 at 6:06 am PDT

Taylin McGill is this year's Courage to Come Back award recipient in the Youth category, She was just a newborn when she was met with her first health setback, a life-threatening one at that. (John Ackermann, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Tsawwassen (NEWS 1130) – Keep on trying, no matter what. You could say that is the motto of Taylin McGill, the 2019 Courage To Come Back award recipient in the Youth category.

Taylin was just a newborn when she was met with her first health setback, a life-threatening one at that.

“When I was 10 days old, I got really sick and had salmonella bacterial meningitis, so I think that’s where my story begins,” she explains.

Her mother remembers that time all too well.

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“I think our number one challenge was keeping her alive in the first couple of months, says Erin McGill. The bacterial meningitis from salmonella really attacked her brain. She was having blockages and it was causing major problems with Taylin surviving.”

But survive she did, and today Taylin is a happy and healthy 17-year-old. She does admit she’s not like other teens; having 14 brain surgeries will do that to a person. “I have difficulty learning like other kids. It’s kind of slow for me.”

Overcoming those challenges has required no small amount of creativity.

“Teaching her how to do things a little bit differently than other kids, we have to sometimes put the things that she needs to remember into song or into a rhyme to help her remember,” her mom explains. “But she doesn’t complain about it and we make it fun so she can remember things.”

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Not only does Taylin never complain, she is also rarely without a smile on her face. She says she gets her strength from those around her.

“My family [encourages me] to do your best and never give up.”

Taylin is also resilient and she’s been recognized for that resilience too. In 2016, she was named a Children’s Miracle Network Champion Child, representing BC Children’s Hospital around the country, sharing her story of hope wherever she goes.

“I always wanted to help other kids like me and share my story with others,” Taylin says. “It feels like I’ve accomplished a lot of things so that feels really good.”

“I just feel like [I’m living] my normal life trying to get through the day.”

NEWS 1130 is a proud sponsor of the 21st Coast Mental Health Courage To Come Back awards, which are being handed out Wednesday April 24th.