Eliminating The Fear Of Down Syndrome
Lynchburg, VA — An Australian couple sparked international outrage when they left their baby with Down's Syndrome with his surrogate mother in Thailand.Understanding why they made such a decision can be tough, unless you have walked a moment in their shoes.15 year old Grayson Gunn is a bright and energetic girl, who is starting her freshman year at E.C. Glass soon. She's about to start high school, but already, she's got big plans for her future, including going to college in Virginia.It hasn't always been this easy. Her mother, Sydney Gunn, remembers the talk with midwife that delivered Grayson. She recalls " She just told me before we left the delivery room, actually, that she said 'I'm seeing some things that are symptomatic of neurological issues.'"Over the last 15 years, the road for Grayson has been a bumpy one. A number of health issues, including heart surgery at a young age, have required her to continue care and therapy.While the Australian couple in this recent surrogate case are getting a lot of backlash, Sydney Gunn says support and proper education about the needs of children with downs syndrome can eliminate the fear of of the unknown, stating "Maybe that ignorant knowledge, at first, or that ignorant fear of not knowing what to expect. It really was ignorance on my part, because, little did I know, with a little extra help, she can get there. And these kids can do and accomplish whatever they set their mind on." Gunn says support from other parents and doctors helped her eliminate the fear of the future. Even if she had known about the downs syndrome diagnosis beforehand, Sydney says it wouldn't have made a difference, nor should it for any other parent. The road has had it's bumps, but it's a road that has Grayson smiling at the end of it. Her mother describes her as a carefree, happy-go-lucky child, who is already making plans for the future.
Or, as she puts it, "Just like every other child!"