Brave South Shields author who defied the odds shares message that 'it's okay to be different'

A South Shields author has spread the word that it’s okay to be different during a day to remember at a primary school.

Children’s book writer Lauren Davis, now 29, was only 10 when she was diagnosed with scoliosis.

She needed an operation within days to have any chance of surviving and had another six to make her life more bearable.

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But Lauren, who also has pain and chronic fatigue, has channelled her experiences into two books.

Lauren Davies who spread the message about accepting other people when she visited Lord Blyton Primary School.

The first was called The Scoliosaurus based on her life with a curvature of the spine. The second was called The Rainbow Snail about a snail with autism who meets a friend along the way who helps him on his journey of self discovery.

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Lauren’s journey and book led to her being invited to read to pupils at Lord Blyton Primary School in South Shields on World Mental Health Day.

Afterwards, she also got to enjoy a craft session with the children and said the whole day had been so important.

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Author Lauren Davis reading her book about autism and mental health at Lord Blyton Primary School.

Lauren said: “I deal with mental health issues myself it’s very important to inform children on wellbeing and happiness and how important it is to being accepting and understanding of differences.

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"Also, understanding people’s emotions is important as you can help people if there feeling sad and they can do the same for you. Talking about it and raising awareness helps everyone.”

The school’s head teacher Joanne Atherton said: “This event was great to have on World Mental Health Day as it raised awareness of accepting differences and that it is okay to be unique.

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"The characters in Lauren’s book had autism and ADHD and the children noticed this and discussed it really well.”

Lauren with her first book.
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Joanne added: “As a school, we always encourage author visits and this linked reading for pleasure with the important message of acceptance.”

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Lauren was told she would never carry a baby because of all the ‘metal work’ she’d had on her spine.

But then came the sixth bout of surgery to re-curve her spine and she was told afterwards that she could have a child,

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Lauren with her son Jesse and her second book.

Jesse-James was born in 2020 at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.