WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB) — Cathedral High School senior Destinee McNally shines as a student. But to see her shine her brightest., to truly understand her character, you need to see what she does at home taking care of her brother, Christian.
“He was actually born having seizures,” said McNally. “And at two months old, he stopped breathing and that caused him to start bleeding in the brain. And he slipped into a coma from about a year and a half. He hasn’t been able to talk or to see or walk since then.”
Her part time time job as his personal care assistant involves everything from helping with medications to bathing. All of this is something Guidance Counselor Patricia Gregory didn’t know about until recently. Most people still don’t.
“She’s quiet by nature and reserved,” said Gregory. “She was never flamboyant about this or boasting or even upset because she couldn’t be involved in things. This was her life. She’s kind of celebrated the fact that she appreciates everything and that’s come from not only living with, but taking care of her brother all her life.”
McNally finds an escape in art. A recent painting she did based on the movie poster for the Little Mermaid is hung in one of the schools hallways. It stands out among all of the other posters done by students.
But she doesn’t want people to think she’s looking for some escape, that her brother is any kind of a burden. In fact, he’s inspired her to take care of others. She plans to go to college to be a nurse.
“I love my brother, I love what I do. And I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said McNally.