A sick 11-year-old girl was inspired to write a poem encouraging tolerance while undergoing treatment for suspected meningitis.
Atalia Saied-Gordon put pen to paper one evening when she couldn’t sleep during a week-long stay at Basildon Hospital, Essex.
In the 19 verse poem called Feelings she writes: “Just because I’m Spanish or French or from Peru doesn’t necessarily mean I am different from you.”
Another line says: “I am just as human, I am just as sane whether black or white I can’t complain.”
Another verse says: “I am probably ugly, fat, dumb but I have a heart.
“So is that why you’ve been hurting me from the start?
“Hurting me physically, socially or mentally, emotionally? Can you show me some respect?”
The schoolgirl had been rushed into the hospital by her worried mother Abbie Saied-Gordon, 35, after doctors feared she might have meningitis earlier this month.
After several scans doctors discovered she had a bad sinus infection which was effectively treated with intravenous drugs and oral antibiotics. She was discharged in time to go home for Christmas.
The Year 6 pupil revealed she was inspired to write the poem after several members of TeamGB’s gymnastics team visited the hospital.
This included double Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock who personally gave Atalia a present.
She said: “I have been thinking about bullying and if people were bullied how they would feel.
“When I was bullied I felt really sad and quite lonely. When I wrote the poem I was looking at it in a different perspective.
“I thought how would someone from a different race or different country feel if they were bullied?
“I believe that no one should be ashamed of who they are.”
Atalia, who goes to Eversley Primary School in Pitsea, Essex, wrote the poem in her final evening at the hospital on December 20.
She showed it to her mother the next day, who then posted a picture of it on Instagram and took a video of Atalia reading it out loud.
The schoolgirl said she is now planning on working on more poems and has already finished one about money and consumerism.
Abbie, a mother-of-two, said: “It was amazing, I am in complete awe of her. It was a little threatening that someone so young can articulate themselves in such a way.
“I feel I have to nurture her so that this talent doesn’t spiral out of control because she is very sensitive about what goes on around her.”
Abbie, who works in financial services, lives with Atalia and her younger brother Marley, eight, at their home in Basildon, Essex.