Angela was one of my church leaders when I was a teenager growing up in Virginia. We’ve both moved a few times since then and a lot has happened in each of our lives. I am so happy that she was willing to share her incredible story. Angela talks about the power of a prenatal diagnosis and the amazing effect her two special needs kids have had on the world around them.
When Angela was pregnant with her fourth baby, Grace, some issues were detected on the 20-week ultrasound. She was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congential heart defect that is incompatible with life. Additional complications with mosaic Turner syndrome led to a fetal surgery and Grace becoming a trailblazer in how HLHS is now treated.
Seven years later, Angela and her husband were thrilled to find out they were expecting a caboose! Angela had just turned forty, and a rollercoaster of tests showing varying results eventually led to a prenatal diagnosis of trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome. What Angela and her husband did with this information might seem a bit unconventional, but I loved Angela’s reasoning and perspective. Tune in to find out why they didn’t tell anyone.
Although a prenatal diagnosis was key in treating and preparing for Grace’s condition, it was really difficult to receive news of William’s diagnosis which had no treatment. Angela has a lot of great insight about the pros and cons of a prenatal diagnosis as she has experienced two very different outcomes with the information they provided.
Angela is learning so much from her two-year-old son William. She feels that having high expectations for her son is key to his success. She’s also realized that success doesn’t always show in the way the world expects. William is vibrant and happy and lives a joyfully uncomplicated life. Angela’s other children (ages 17, 15 and 12) are so proud of their brother.
The sweet photo of William and his dad featured on Down Syndrome Awareness Day in Times Square
Music in this episode courtesy of Andrew Seistrup.