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Jonathan

provides support for this child

 

 

It was August 26th, 2003, the eve of my 40th birthday, when the phone rang! It was my doctor’s office calling to confirm that I was pregnant! It was the best news I could hear and the best 40th birthday present I could ever want!

My pregnancy was going well and I was due for my 20 week check- up. Seeing that I was now 40 years old, my doctor wanted me to have a screening test that would let us know if there was anything wrong with the baby. This screening test was an estimated test that would let him know if it was positive, that I could have a Down Syndrome child or maybe a Sharable Palsy child! I never even really thought about if this test did come back positive! What would I do?

Two weeks later, I was cooking dinner and the phone rang. It was my doctor’s office calling to say that the test came back positive for Down Syndrome! My world came crashing down on me! I couldn’t even really comprehend the reality of this news! I ran over to my mother and cried my eyes out! All the joy I had felt about having another child vanished right before my eyes! After speaking to the doctor, I realized that this test was not 100% accurate and I needed to know what I was up against! I didn’t want to prepare myself for something that may not be true? After much discussion and research, I decided to have an amnio-synthesis done that would give me an accurate result. I braced myself for the results of this test and prayed that it was all wrong and my baby was going to be perfect and normal. Well, that thought was quickly taken away, when I got the call of my results. It was definite! I was having a Down Syndrome boy.

The tears came again and this time for real as I couldn’t pretend that this would go away and that there could be a mistake! This was now a reality and I had to face the fact that my son would be Down Syndrome!

On my 32nd week of my pregnancy, my amniotic fluids due to the amnio, started to leak. I was put into the hospital on complete bed rest and there I stayed for six weeks to keep my son in the womb for as I long as I could. After the six weeks, my fluids were so low they decided to take Jonathan from me. He was born in at 3 pounds ¼ ounce. He was given a 10% chance of survival and little did I know that I would be fighting for my life! Because of my fluids leaking, my after birth stuck to my uterus and the doctor couldn’t get it off. After several hours on the operating table they finally got it free but I had lost so much blood! I had to wait for blood as they couldn’t find any blood for me in the blood bank! I never realized how hard I would have to fight to stay alive, but God knew He had a plan and a purpose for me that I had no idea about!

Jonathan remained in the Pre-natal Intensive Care Unit for 5 weeks and got stronger and his weight was enough for him to finally come home! He made it for us to celebrate Mother’s Day!!! He became the light of our lives and I never knew how much I would grow to love this precious little bundle!

I read, researched, studied all I could about Down Syndrome and what to expect as a mother and parent of a special needs child. We all learnt and our knowledge grew along with the love we had for Jonathan!

Mark and I embraced this challenge and we worked to provide all we could to help Jonathan be the best that he could be!

After several years, I realized that there was not much support, or knowledge about Down Syndrome for new parents? After spending time with Ms. Cynthia Stanko, from the Infant Stimulation Program, we realized we needed  to establish a support group for all families with Down Syndrome children.

This was the beginning of my dream! Soon we established the Bahamas Down Syndrome Association and in September 2011, we opened the first Down Syndrome Center here in the Bahamas. The center provides a school for our children and adults, programs for all ages and a place for all of our parents to meet as a support for one another.

On March 21st, 2013, we launched a documentary for the Bahamas called “ Don’t Look Down Look Up”!

We have made great strides in the Bahamas and we are excited about all of our future plans!

I now know why I had Jonathan and I know that he was given to me for a reason! To help all children and adults born with Down Syndrome in the Bahamas!

To learn more about what we are doing you can visit our website: bahamasdownsyndrome.org.

As our moto says: “ Don’t Look Down Look Up!