I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Isla and her little brother Felix on a Sunday afternoon in February. Much like any other session with a four and two year old, we played, had some snacks (made a mess) and had some tickle love from mom. March 21st the world celebrated World Down Syndrome Day, although this girl should be celebrated every day. She was a joy for sure. I’m more than excited to share the more than beautiful Isla’s #capturewhatmattersproject and story below.
In September of 2012, Erin and I learned via a genetic ultrasound that Isla had a heart defect and Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs when a person has an extra chromosome 21 (trisomy 21). Annually, one in 600 babies in the U.S. The prenatal diagnosis gave us plenty of time to read and learn as much as we could about Down syndrome; as well as meet and connect with other families that share similar stories.
Isla Christine Meyers was born on February 18, 2013, under the watchful eyes of her parents, an obstetrician, several nurses, a neonatal intensive care unit team, cardiology team and a couple of med students. After almost two weeks and a nor'easter we were able to bring Isla home.
Isla had to spend another week in the hospital at Barbara bush for failure to thrive where her parents learned how to insert a feeding tube and chart her daily weight and how much she ate. Isla had nurses and therapists coming to her house daily to ensure her well-being until her first heart surgery.
In June of 2013, Isla had open heart surgery to repair her heart defect. The surgery went well and the doctors hope to not have to do a second surgery until she is in her teens.
Isla is now four years old. She has some developmental delays and receives speech, occupational and physical therapy, but she works hard to keep up with her friends in the classroom and, most importantly, in having fun. There's is also a common misconception that people with Down syndrome are always happy. Isla will certainly greet you with a smile and hug, but she has a full range of emotions and she's willing to let you know how she is feeling.
Isla is a bright little girl with an amazing memory. She loves her siblings and has no problem telling them or her parents when they're wrong.
Isla wants to be a doctor, pilot, mommy, and scientist and vet when she grows up.