Neafcy (FASD Survivor) FASFlight@msn.com
Barbara Neafcy, RN (Specialist in FASD) firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a reflection
of Christopher Surbey, we are woven from the same cloth. Born with
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Christopher Surbey was
stabbed to death last week because those who had the power to fund
programs found other reasons not to help fund these desperately
needed programs. Christopher Surbey don't forget his name, Christopher
Surbey is looking down from heaven to see just how much we learned
from his ultimate sacrifice. Can we all just do nothing, I know
I can't. Those born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum, will not go away.
You must realize our brain are like a fuse box on overload without
the current flow that healthy brains have, to give us the chance
to think before we act and make a choice. This was taken away from
us by the alcohol before we we're born. All Christopher Surbey wanted
was a chance, now we will never know the gift he could of given
us. Don't let Christopher Surbey die in vain, let us all give all
who where born with FASD a chance to make a difference by funding
programs to help us with daily living. My Poem to Christopher Surbey
his family. Then a little bit about me!
by Stephen Neafcy
10th , 2005
In my time
of understanding, the thought can never be that I see the blade
the life of someone like me, Christopher Surbey. My eyes close and
then I see
the hands reaching out of Christopher Surbey, the cry “I Don’t
Die” I hear so clear as this echoes with so much fear. The
streets so cold and the perpetrator
so bold, takes Christopher Surbey’s life and his future now
the cries from Chris, don’t just put his death on another
list. Keep Christopher Surbey’s memory alive with the rest
of us, those who are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
need special security for without this you see the result with always
be just like our precious Christopher Surbey. Chris
we never met, but my heart does mourn, I never had a chance laugh
or share a moment or two out of the norm.
Vince and Val,
no words can express the emptiness’ since the passing of Chris.
Please take hold of the thought that is your son Christopher Surbey
left you with a kiss. We will keep Chris’s memory alive, and
in his name other FASD’ers will survive.
I was born
April 10th 1953 in Philadelphia, PA., from what I understand I was
held back from birth because the doctor did not arrive yet. I was
a hard birth for my mother and even before entering our world found
it difficult to achieve.
The world was
a huge and mighty force, that was to much for a small person as
I. I did not learn like my siblings and had a hard time learning
to crawl, everything was a major challenge with mostly negative
results. School was dreaded and being taught almost impossible,
my hand writing you could not understand not even myself. The teachers
had to have a student take notes for me and copy my homework, the
student usually was a girl whom I developed a puppy love crush.
Needles to say I was not doing much learning, but love was always
in the air.
I always was
a loner and got lost in music at a very young age, with music it
always seemed that other could express my feelings when I could
not. I would always come home from school a failure, but once in
my cocoon (my room) I could always feel success through my music.
When I would open the door, it was reality again, my world of disappointing
everyone. Always the one to laugh out because I was so different,
my world as a young boy was full of questions with no answers (confusion
I was left
back about every other grade and never retained what I was taught
from the previous grade. It was a very hard time for me and my parents
who always wanted me to succeed. My parents paid for tutors and
Psychiatrists, even paid some of my peers to tutor me. Always with
no success, I just did not get it could not understand why I was
I would forever
get myself in trouble, sometimes not realizing I was doing wrong.
I use to do dumb things like one Sunday I was walking past the neighborhood
candy store and being Sunday they where closed and at church. I
noticed the door to the candy store left ajar, I was very sincere
in this thought. I guess if we leave money on the counter we can
go in and get some candy. So I preceded to do just that I went into
the candy store put (what I thought was a fair price almost nothing
J and begin to live a child’s dream being alone in a candy
store with no adults to set limits. Soon some my peers passed by
and said you’re going to get into trouble, I said no it’s
alright just leave money on the counter. Remember I believed in
my heart this was ok to do, I thought the owners would be very pleased.
I guess one of the Neighbors saw the activity at the Candy store,
got in touch with the owners at Church and it was not long before
this wonderful dream became a nightmare. I thought you would be
pleased, oh the candy store also leads to you home, and oh you have
set prices for certain candies. Still I could not understand what
every adult was so upset about, I was helping the owners of the
candy store sell candy. I really truly believed I did nothing wrong,
that’s one of the dangers of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
I had no ability to understand that this was wrong and I would only
get in trouble if I walked through the left a jar door to the candy
There are many
of other situations growing up FASD, which I will be posting on
our website a little at a time. I was so poor in school that I dropped
out of school with my parents ok and got a job at Sears and Roebucks.
I worked in the catalog sales dept. filling orders for customers
that phone in, when they came to pick up the order I went and found
the merchandise and sold it to them. During this probationary period
I was approached by a fellow employee and he started making friends
with me. He begins to tell me he needs my help to move some things
to his truck and would I help him. Of course I said yes, after this
was done and it was a few days later he told me a few days ago I
helped him steal Sears merchandise and look how easy it was I should
try it. That morning I had a disagreement with my dad about me wanting
to ware a tie and dad thought I would look out of place and stick
out like a sore thumb. We argued back and forth, and then I ripped
the tie off and stormed out the door to catch the bus for work.
I felt awful, I never left the house like that and always hugged
and kissed my parents. I just had to get to the phone and apologize
for leaving that way; I called when I got to work but my mother
said dad was not there but would give him my message.
My dad liked
the fresh nuts that Sears sold and it was payday so I before leaving
for the day got him the biggest bag they sold. I went home and went
in the front door to see my Aunt Steffie and Uncle Joe and my mother
with her face in her hands on the kitchen table. I said what’s
wrong and mom picked up her head and said Dads dead, he committed
suicide that afternoon with my rifle that my brother gave me from
his army days. I was numb could not feel, did not know what to feel.
I excused myself and went up to my room and put this song on and
- Paul Peterson
isn't much in the eyes of the world,
He'll never make history.
No...He isn't much in the eyes of the world,
But he is the world to me...
Now here is a man.
To me he is everything strong,
No he can't do wrong,
Now he understands
When I bring him troubles to share,
Oh he's always there,
I was small
I felt ten feet tall,
When I walked by his side.
everyone would say, "That's his son."
And my heart would burst with pride!
Oh I love him so.
And, I only hope that someday,
My own son will say,
"My Dad. Now Here is a man."
say I was very devastated and so much was left unsaid to dad, I
would never be able to give him his favorite nuts from Sears. When
I went back to work after dad’s funeral, nothing was the same
and what that man said kept going through my head about shoplifting
and not getting caught (I wanted to fill a void). I went down to
the record and tape dept. with my Sears name badge on and found
Abby Road on cassette tape and put it in my back pocket. I went
on the escalator and felt a hand pulling the tape out of my pocket
saying “What’s this”! Needles to say I lost my
job, what really shocked me was I saw that man that put this idea
into my head being congratulated. He turned out to be a security
person who is placed undercover to find weak people, my mother was
told that we could fight this and gets my job back but we did not
This all ties
in to typical FASD Vulnerability, I will give further examples of
this as our website grows. Both Mom and I moved from Philadelphia
to Reno Nevada, my sister Nancy lived in Sparks Nevada we lived
there to begin a new life.
teenager years I struggled to just be, I could not find my purpose.
During my years I been in and out of mental health hospitals and
had my problems with the law (shoplifting, writing bad checks, more
on this will be posted on our website.) I got married at age 20
in 1973 and divorced in 1980, I with this marriage have 2 daughters
Christy and Sara both in their 20’s now.
More on Christy
and Sara will be added at another time. I was always looking for
an answer, I was always looking for the question it seemed that
when I found one I lost the other. I eventually moved back in with
my mother who now lived in Sun City West, AZ. This was in 1986,
and moved out to a studio apartment in 1990. There I met who would
turn out to be the best friend I ever had Tom Kick. We had the same
interests and did a lot of things together Barbeque etc, Tom and
I are very close friends. Tom in Arizona, but we still stay in touch
and plan to visit in the near future. In 1995 in August after fighting
a battle with Autoimmune Hepatitis my mother died a condition in
which the body fights against its own liver.
To be around
family I moved to Washington State where my sister Nancy lives.
After moving to Washington State Nan arranged after do a lot of
research on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects (Now called Fetal Alcohol
Spectrum Disorders) to be tested for possibly this being my problem.
Dr Sterling Clarren director of FAS Diagnostic and Prevention Network
in Washington State (now retired) after test me to have FAE Fetal
Alcohol Effects. Now knowing my problem I was able to start a new
second half of my life, I was 43 years when I was diagnosed now
50 years. After finding out I was given a computer by my late bother
Jim and went on the internet to find out about me. I joined a listserv
called FASLink where those who are or who take care of or just want
to learn about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders sign up and participate.
I was and still am greeted with open arms and accepted for who I
am. I now do research for FASLink and private request (which I found
to be very good at.) One other major event has happen due to joining
FASLink, I started e-mailing and Instant Messaging a woman named
Barbara Ferguson after a few years of communicating we arranged
to meet and today we are married and live in Bettendorf, Iowa .
A Ray of Hope
by Stephen Neafcy
I was not
diagnosed with FASD until I was 43 yrs old and not knowing the reasons
for my actions was very frustrating. I was really a person who wanted
to do good!! I could not understand what drove me to disappoint
those I wanted to be proud of me. I was so lost! It was only after
I was diagnosed with FASD that I realized my brain was like a fuse
box on overload without the current flow that healthy brains have,
to give me the chance to think before I acted and make a choice.
This was taken away from me by the alcohol before I was born. Now
where do I go from here? First it was important for me to realize
the reason I had a short circuit. With this information I could
pick up from that point and not keep bashing my head against the
wall trying to be normal and function like those who don't have
brain damage. This is impossible! Now knowing this would I take
advantage of this Knowledge? At first maybe so, but with a chance
to begin where I am capable and achieve from that point can only
better my life. Now I might have a damaged brain and be unable to
make decisions, but by turning to my higher power, that being (God)
would and could take over for me.
I could as
these words suggest be "BORN AGAIN". Yes I am talking
about faith and turning my life over to Jesus Christ. Now just Imagine
being able to have The Son of God take over for my damaged fuse
box. Well I have done just that, Jesus Christ is guiding me and
when I have a situation that needs a fuse box Jesus is there to
comfort me and calm mtaught me the signals. I first start out with
the mellow music of a Composer named Mars Lasar. With a Name Mars
who would think His Music helps with bringing me back to earth.
Faith in my life over rides the brain damage and gives me the strength
to listen and let Jesus take control! I don't always release it
to The Lord. That's when I have problems and begin to panic! But
in the end of all the defects that the alcohol has given me, Jesus
takes over and all is calm and Peace is restored.
needed for those who are affected with FASD. I will devote my life
to see that these get off the ground. I also will help create them,
this is my pledge to our Special Ones and those who Love them! Although
FASD is for Life, hope is here and I'm no different from any other
affected individual. I cast a Rainbow and say that at the end of
this Rainbow is productive life for all with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
Disorder. I will help unlock that door and help all of you see this
Rainbow and see the productive life that Your Special One can lead.
"Diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder FASD"
Barbara Neafcy R.N. - President
3011 Central Avenue,
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
Fax: (563) 359-6844
A quote from
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach:
"When you step to the edge of light you have known, and are
about to step out into darkness, faith is knowing one of two things
will happen; there will be something to stand on or you will be
taught to fly."