A Project Celebrating Differences and Triumphs
Leah is Beautifully Different
I am so honored to introduce you to this amazing little girl. Meet Leah,who has Trisomy 21. According to Stanford Children’s Health, the term trisomy is used to describe the presence of three chromosomes, rather than the usual matched pair of chromosomes. Trisomy 21 is also known as Down syndrome. Leah spent nearly 2 months in the hospital after birth before being able to come home for the first time. She’s had a few hospital stays since then for scheduled procedures and surgeries, the most major of which was open heart surgery in June 2018. She made an incredible recovery having spent only 3 nights in the hospital. She doesn’t even realize it, but at her young age she teaches us about patience, perseverance and resilience. She’s small but undoubtedly mighty. Leah is sweet, and loving, and Beautifully Different.
Leah’s parent’s suspected she had Trisomy 21 at birth. Leah’s Mom described this time in their lives so beautifully.”A lot of days kind of blurred together, far too many of which were spent in the hospital. So many emotions flooded us during that time. We were in shock about the diagnosis and our daughter’s abundant medical needs. We faced fear about the future, and we spent a lot of time with tears streaming down our faces. But one day in the hospital, my husband and I just looked at one another and decided that although this journey may be different than we expected, it’s ours and it’s beautiful. From there we never looked back. Some days are harder than others, but the joy and laughter that Leah brings outweigh the tears that once burdened us. She inspires us every single day.”
A typical week for Leah generally includes 2-3 therapy appointments, and often times one or two doctor appointments. Down syndrome tends to impact a child’s global development, so Leah requires therapies to help her learn new skills that other children may be able to acquire more readily on their own. Because of her heart condition as well as her oral motor development, she has had difficulty learning to eat orally, so she receives much of her nutrition through a G-tube while we work towards helping her learn to eat by mouth. Although some aspects of her daily life are different, a lot are very similar to other children her age. She loves laughing, smiling, listening to and dancing to
Loving. Joyful. Fighter.
Leah has amazed her family with her ability to pick up on basic sign language to communicate her wants and needs. She loves asking for a drink of water, requesting books, and asking for music. She understands that these signs allow her to communicate and that’s been really motivating to her as she grasps new concepts. Leah is also very laid back and loving. She enjoys being around Mom and Dad and affectionately blows kisses to those she loves. She brings so much joy to their lives every single day!
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