Sam’s Story, by his mum, Annabel
My son Samuel is 18 years old and was born with Down syndrome. We knew in pregnancy that he would have DS and needed open heart surgery, which he had when he was four and a half months old.
My first scan was all fine, but at the detailed scan the sonographer found that he had a raised nuchal fold and 2 brain cysts, but more importantly a heart condition called an AVSD. I was terrified at the thought of my baby needing to have open heart surgery and although we were scared at the prospect of having a child with Down syndrome, we chose to carry on with the pregnancy with the thoughts in mind that whilst our baby was fighting so would we!
The rest of my pregnancy was taken up with one appointment after the other. The consultant wanted us to have an amniocentesis so that she could plan for his operation. I finally agreed to have it done at 34 weeks so that if it caused me to go into labour we would still have our boy. Samuel was born 2 weeks later, and we instantly fell in love with him.
We spent a lot of time in the hospital until he had his heart operation. It was a success and his heart is still working as normal as possible, which is such a blessing… As the years went by, so did the illnesses, and an autism diagnosis followed, but we took it all in our stride… Sam is such a pleasure, if not a little bit loud! But his giggles and cuddles make up for that. He started college in September and is doing really well. Whilst he is greatly affected by his disabilities, he is such a happy and loving young man. We feel very privileged to be his parents.