Beckham’s Beautiful Mind
Minutes after the birth of our son, we received some very unexpected news: He carried an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. We were told there was no genetic reason for this, we were just a part of the completely random 1% who give birth to a child with Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). Although scared at first, it took no time at all for us to realize this: We had hit the jackpot. This sweet boy has filled my heart and soul with an indescribable joy, and I am honored that God has allowed me the privilege of being his mother.
Just as soon as we had adjusted to this new and wonderful journey of being parents to our sweet baby Beckham, it took another unexpected, yet this time, terrifying turn. At about nine months old we noticed Beckham’s development come to an abrupt halt, and his smile became more and more scarce. He barely looked our way, and would no longer interact with us at all. Soon after this, we also began to notice some subtle seizure-like episodes. We went with our gut feeling that something wasn’t right, and took him to the ER.
After spending nine days admitted to the hospital, we were given a devastating diagnosis: “Infantile Spasms.” Infantile Spasms are described as “an extremely rare and catastrophic seizure disorder found in infants that is associated with severe intellectual and cognitive disabilities, and most often a poor prognosis.” This disorder occurs in 1 to 5% of Down Syndrome babies for unknown reasons. Beckham has now been in the hospital for two weeks and has begun receiving treatment for this condition. The treatment includes daily intramuscular injections of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), which in itself poses some life-threatening risks. Through all of this, we have learned to accept that we do not know what Beckham’s future is going to look like. I will never stop working to push Beckham to his absolute full potential, and I am both hopeful and prayerful that he develops into an active, mischievous, and independent little boy. But the reality is, I do not know if he will ever talk, walk, run, or play sports. I do not know if he will ever hold a career or be independent. I DO know Beckham was blessed with a most beautiful mind that was carefully and artistically created, and I DO know his purpose in life is much, much greater than what I ever could have imagined. I look forward to every minute of watching him touch the lives of those around him, and watching him overcome and conquer every battle and obstacle that comes his way.
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