Let me introduce you to this little beauty, Jordan Grace. Jordan’s mama and I are IG friends and have become close recently. Our older girls are even PenPals now 🙂 As you can see, Jordan Grace is not only gorgeous, but she also has Down Syndrome.
A few weeks back Jordan’s mama, Maria, shared this photo of Jordan. She had to rush her sweet girl to the ER because just like Peanut, a simple cold for Jordan can become horrible. As I’ve mentioned before, children with Down Syndrome have a very narrow airway in their nose. Because of this, any congestion can really affect their oxygen level as overall health. Peanut has had two hospital admissions due to this.
In the caption of the photo, Maria expressed her frustration about sending children to school who were sick. She was obviously devasted that her sweet girl needed a trip to the ER because of a simple cold. As a parent, it is so frustrating to do everything you can to keep your child healthy, only to have another parent send their sick child to school and spread the sickness. Especially when your child doesn’t always have the capability to fight the infection.
Well, somehow Yahoo! found this post and did an article about it. Apparently, starting a huge debate about children going to school sick. They only gave a partial explanation and made sweet Jordan Grace out to seem like this fragile child who needs to be in a bubble. Let me tell you, Jordan Grace is FAR from fragile! This girl is strong, independent and overall healthy! Poor Maria has been bombarded (not only on Yahoo! but on her IG account as well) from people attacking her. Saying things like it is not their responsibility to protect her child, to what kind of mother sends a kid whos that weak to school. At the time of writing this, there are currently 1,163 comments on Yahoo! almost all negative towards Maria. I honestly had to stop reading them because I was getting more and more angry. She even blocked her IG feed to stop the negativity coming directly to her.
Let me explain to you what happens when Peanut is admitted. First, they start with a Deep Suction to remove the built-up congestion in her throat.
Deep suctioning means going past the posterior pharynx with a catheter, through the vocal cords, down into the patient’s airway (trachea!), and applying suction, to remove thick secretions that are making it hard for your patient to breathe.
In layman’s terms, they stick a long skinny tube down our daughter’s nose into her throat and suction all the build-up out.
This process is done multiple times throughout the stay until Peanut is able to clear the congestion herself or with the help from Daddy and the NoseFrida. If you have never experienced your child going through this, count your blessings! It’s absolutely horrible and heartbreaking! Google it if you are curious.
Most of the time an IV is needed to provide fluids and medication. By this point, she is usually dehydrated some and they often struggle to find a vein strong enough for the IV. One time it took 5 different tries before they were successful. That’s right, 5 times they poked her with a needle only to try again. If her Oxygen level is below 93 they also use a nasal cannula taped to her face to administer oxygen. She is hooked up to not only blood pressure and O2 monitors, but heart monitors as well to watch her heart beat. The last hospital stay we were admitted 4 days, 5 the time before. They are unable to release her until her oxygen level stays above 95 while she is sleeping for over 8 hours.
I’m not sure what care Jordan Grace received this time, but I wouldn’t doubt it was similar to what Peanut goes through. It is not as simple as taking your child to be seen by their pediatrician and given some medication. In our case, it also includes a 2-hour car ride to the children’s hospital.
This is why something like a simple cold can be devastating to a family who has a child who struggles to fight it on their own. Does this mean I expect you to make sure my child stays healthy? No, not at all. All we are asking it that you take a moment and try to put yourself in our shoes. Please try not to send your sick child to school and spread it over to the other children. Have some courtesy when you drop them off at daycare, the church nursery or yes, at school. Even simply informing the caregiver that your child is ill will help. At least then maybe they can try to keep an eye on your kiddo and try to isolate them a little from the other kids.
This isn’t something that only the Down Syndrome community deals with. Lots of children have immunity issues and can not fight simple colds as well as typical children. By the way, a comment compared this to children with nut allergies. He mentioned that it wasn’t his responsibility to make sure the kid with a nut allergy is fine, maybe they just shouldn’t be in school. Peanut’s big sister Jaylen is like the other 5.9 million children with food allergies in the US. If she even touches a Walnut she will break out in hives, have an asthma attack and go into anaphylactic shock. Eating it will result in full anaphylactic shock within seconds (its happened before) and she could die if not treated immediately. So no, it isn’t his responsibility to make sure my child with a nut allergy is safe, but I would hope as a fellow parent he wouldn’t want to harm a child when it can easily be avoided.
Can I just address another thing, let’s stop bashing other parents!! I’ve been in Maria’s shoes. Having total strangers attack you as a parent is devastating. No matter how much you ignore them, it hurts. Maria did not ask for this article to be posted or for her IG account to be posted for millions to see. She didn’t ask the thousands of strangers to judge her as a parent and express their opinions about her daughter. The web has made us all mean, cruel and stupidly brave. You would never attack another mother to her face, just because you are sitting behind a computer screen doesn’t make it any better!!! If you can’t say anything nice then just SHUT UP and keep your opinions to yourself. Trust me, we all feel like we are failing as a parent without you pointing it out to us!