‘I love to help those that cannot help themselves’
Joy-Ann Haigh talks to Easy about the Good Life.
What is your greatest childhood memory?
My greatest childhood memory would have to be Christmas with my family. Every Christmas my mum literally created magic. She was like Santa Claus and my dad was the elf. We grew up in a small two-bedroom wooden house that was home to a family of nine. Every Christmas Eve I can remember the ham hanging from the ceiling in this cloth-like bag. My mother would send us to bed early and when we woke up Christmas morning, the tree would be fully decorated with gifts placed under it, curtains up, the house would be perfect and the food would be in the oven. We always had ham for breakfast (and in those days Christmas would be the only time you were able to eat ham) and it was off to church and then the Park.
What keeps me passionate is the ability to get up every morning and help people. The nature of my job requires a lot of listening, communicating and problem-solving. It gives me great pleasure to know that I can make a difference in someone’s life. I like a challenge and I don’t like to fail. I believe that any problem that is man-made can also be solved by man. I love what I do and I am grateful to God for His continued guidance in this path that He has chosen for me.
What is your most precious moment?
I have two: July 5, 1990, when I gave birth to my daughter Miestral and October 30, 1999, when I gave birth to my daughter Skyy.
What is your biggest regret?
To regret means that you are unhappy with your life as it is. I think we all make mistakes but think about the lessons we have learnt (or should learn) that mak you a better person because of those mistakes. We always have a chance to right our wrongs, so I don’t believe in regrets. I am happy today. I am just taking notes along the way as I make mistakes and correct them as I go along when and wherever I can.
A life changing moment happened when Skyy A. Sweeney came into this world. She was born with Down’s syndrome and two holes and one valve in her heart. I started to see life from a different perspective, and that is to turn anything negative into a positive, and to accept the things that man cannot change. I guess this is why I am so passionate about solving problems that are man- made. Things will occur that only God can solve but they are many other things that we can solve. Skyy will always have Down syndrome but her heart is fixed and so far working perfectly.
My most treasured possession is nothing tangible. I came into this world with nothing. But that to say that I don’t have a great appreciation for the material things in life that give you comfort because I appreciate them. I just don’t consider them “treasured possessions”. However, I sleep with my Bible every night and try to absorb and understand the word of God because in the end that is all I want to take with me.
Who is the person that has made the biggest impact on your life?
That has varied over the past 41 years. In my primary years it was my mum and in secondary years my teachers at Combermere School. At age 19, it was and still is Oprah, and in recent times President Barack Obama has certainly and continues to impact my life. But meeting anyone that exhibits extreme acts of kindness always impacts my life.
How did I ever exist without a cellphone. It’s very important with my job, and the more people that contact me, the more people I can help!
What do you love most about yourself now?
I am finally opening up to discovering how truly amazing God is. He has guided me to my purpose for being here which then has led me to my passion. I have zero tolerance for those that try to hurt people unnecessarily and I am happy to be a voice for those cannot speak for themselves. I also love that not only can I be a voice but I will try to encourage as many persons to help themselves so that they will in turn pass it on to others. I hope that God continues to use me, to use my life until He cannot use it any longer.