When Matt and Jodi Parry from Chorley, Lancashire in the UK found out they were having twins they were ecstatic. They already had one son and they eagerly awaited the arrival of the twins. Jodi explains that her pregnancy was normal until the 7th month when their doctor called them up and told them to come to his office with a fearful tone.
When they came to the office the doctor told them Jodi’s pregnancy was high risk and she’d need to give birth early. She gave birth a month early and they were told the girls would be tested for Down’s syndrome. The doctor took them aside and wanted to tell them the results. With a long face and a sad voice he said he was sorry that their twins they named Abigail and Isobel had Down's syndrome.
“The doctor portrayed this as if this was an evil decree from heaven for all our life”, said Jodi. Matt added, “I understand that the odds of having Down syndrome twins are about 1 in a million, but the way it was portrayed by the doctor we were led to believe that our daughter would have no place in the mainstream and that bothered us very much. On the other hand no one said that along with the difficulties we could still become a happy family and live a full life like everyone else.”
Jodi recounts: “the first months after the birth were very scary. I received very little guidance on what to do and I had no idea if they’d even walk, speak or learn in school like other children. We found ourselves in a system that mainly pitied us because we were ‘lucky enough’ to have daughters with Down’s syndrome. But as their mother, I know how much love Abigail and Isobel get from us and all those who really know them.”
Until today, over 6 years later I still have no idea why that doctor was sorry. If I could meet him I would show him what awesome twins Abigail and Isobel are and tell him he owes us an apology. We would never trade Abigail and Isobel for all the money in the world! Today I know this doctor erred big time by not giving these twins a chance…”
Matt and Jodi created a UK charity called Twincess which explains to parent and future parents the positive aspects of having children with Down's syndrome. Twincess is the way Matt and Jodi celebrate their twins’ Down's syndrome' instead of making it a cause to mourn. People should learn what the myths are and dispel them. Matt and Jodi are there to help.