Friday, October 12, 2012

31 for 21: DAY 12 :: Health Matters

I am sure that many of you already know this, but for those of you less familiar with Down syndrome, I want to take a moment to point out some of the health problems that are associated with the condition. 

Down Syndrome Fact of the Day #12:

Many children with Down syndrome have health complications beyond the usual childhood illnesses. 

Approximately 40% of children with Ds have congenital heart defects.  These children also have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal abnormalities.  They are generally at more risk of infection, and can have respiratory, thyroid, dental, vision, and hearing problems, among other medical conditions.  Despite this daunting list of possible ailments, children and adults with Down syndrome can lead very healthy lives with appropriate medical care, nutrition, and healthy habit-forming. 

We have been incredibly fortunate that Jack did not require heart surgery or any other type of surgery as a baby, and we count our blessings every single day for that.  A number of Jack's little friends, both with and without Down syndrome, have undergone heart repairs and other surgeries, and thanks to medical technology, they are now thriving.  I feel obligated to point out here as well that with added health concerns comes obvious added stress on parents and caregivers of children with Down syndrome.

We know that we are certainly not out of the woods with potential health issues in the future with Jack, and he does have little health "quirks" that we deal with (GERD, for example), but we feel fortunate that he has been a pretty healthy kid thus far. 

We thank God every day for your health, little man, and we pray continuously for you to live a very long and full life! 
Keep it up!

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