An Ellie Rule

That an extra chromosome is a super power. Much like Superman and Spiderman it would appear that people with Down Syndrome have super powers, except in the case with Down Syndrome there is actually scientific research to prove it. There are some scary words you hear from doctors and books when learning about your child with Down Syndrome. The two scariest are a higher risk of a congenital heart defect and a higher chance of leukemia. Two things you would never want your child to go through, words that can keep you up at night. But there is a slight glimmer of hope that research continues to prove: for some reason children with Down Syndrome do better when faced with these issues than typical children. A recent study, the link I’ll attach at the bottom of this post, involved a large group of children across the United States over several years looking at recovery rates in children dealing with surgery for heart defects. Children with Down Syndrome have a 1.9% mortality rate after heart surgery compared to 4.3% for children without Down Syndrome. Doctors and scientists can’t seem understand the link between an extra chromosome and this information but they can’t deny the statistics that have shown up in several studies. Furthermore children with Down Syndrome who develop acute myeloid leukemia have exceptionally high cure rates, between 80 and 90%. These rates are not yet completely understood and I can’t properly describe them as I’m not a doctor. I think for now I will settle for super powers as an explanation, I saw them when I first met Ellie. They flow through her cells, they have always been able to give me peace when I look in her eyes, and they have provided her with the strength to survive a broken heart and the power to smile in a hospital bed two days after open heart surgery.

Article: Children with Down Syndrome Have Better Heart Surgery Outcomes:
http://m.digitaljournal.com/pr/1866352

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