A Daughter with Down syndrome: A Father’s Testimony
Jack Barr Jr. and his wife Jana never imagined that there first born daughter would be born disabled. There were no complications during the pregnancy and no warning signs to indicate that anything unusual might be happening inside the womb of Jana Barr. It wasn’t until three days after Mrs. Barr gave birth that the doctor realized that Marley, the Barr’s new baby girl had Down syndrome (DS). Down syndrome is a genetic condition that gives a person 47chromosomes, instead of the normal 46 that comes from the combination of 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. A doctor can diagnose Down syndrome by the baby’s appearance (like facial features) and by listening to the baby’s chest for heart murmurs. The age of the mother can also play a factor in whether or not DS may develop. For example at age 30 women have a 1 in 1,000 chance of conceiving a child with DS, 1 in 400 by age 35 and 1 in 100 by the age of 40. Although the road to life has many detours, Jack was not ready for the one that came with the birth of his daughter. With the news in his mind that his daughter would never be labeled as a normal girl he walked out the door with intent to not look back. With sadness in his heart and family on his mind Jack reached out to a support group for parents with DS kids. After talking to a man in a similar situation, Mr. Barr realized the true meaning of life and family. Even though Marley was born with an incurable disease she was life, sunshine and unconditional love and he realized that in the end that’s all he needed all along.
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