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NEWS STORIES

A Family adapts to new challenges of a child with Down SyndromeSubmitted: 11/13/2013

Melissa Constanzer
Morning Meteorologist/Reporter
mconstanzer@wjfw.com

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GLEASON - We all want perfect, healthy, and happy babies but sometimes things don't go as perfectly as planned. One Gleason woman and her family learned how to accept this.

"The second I looked at the picture, I knew he had Down Syndrome," said Shannon Staskiewicz.

Shannon Staskiewicz couldn't lose that thought when she first saw her new baby boy.

"I was depressed, I was angry, I was grieving, you know, I expected to have this perfect little boy. And while he is perfect in his own way, it took a long time to make that connection. When I looked at him, all I saw was Down Syndrome, I didn't see Hunter," says Shannon.

She couldn't prepare for this. So she turned to other mothers online for help.

"I, you know, connected with a number of mom's on face book and they were so helpful. You know, just to say, that's normal, you know, it's normal to be sad, it's normal to be angry, but now you need to accept him for who he is," said Shannon.

But the family couldn't afford for the anger to last long. Hunter needed lots of care and attention.

"About twenty-five to forty percent of all Down Syndrome babies have some form of cardiac malformation," said Dr. Dennis McFadden, Shannon's OB/GYN.

Hunter had a hole in his heart that healed on its own. But he was born with breathing issues. His lungs aren't as strong as they should be.

"With Hunter, putting him in daycare doesn't work well. He doesn't have a very good immune system...Three days, he would be home sick," says Staskiewicz.

Shannon had to quit her job to take care of Hunter. It put extra stress on her family but she believes it was worth it. The only difference from her other children is that Hunter grows and learns at a slower rate.

"So it's just that longer extended timeline. Otherwise he's stubborn, he's sweet, he is, you know, can get into things that he's not supposed to. We're just getting ready to install a baby gate because now with him being more mobile, he's into everything," stated Shannon.

"We're not going to let the fact that he has Down Syndrome hold him down, or let anything get in his way because he can do everything anybody else can do," says Shannon.

Shannon has the same dreams and goals for Hunter as her other two children. But the road will undoubtedly be longer and tougher.

"I think it's very important to, have as much warning as you can from the patient standpoint. This can be a very shocking experience that can really be emotionally challenging at the time of birth," says Dr. McFadden.

"It's okay to, you know, be angry and he is worth it. He is absolutely, 100 percent worth every second," said Shannon.

If you want to learn more about Shannon's story, check out the Hello, Hunter Facebook page.

Related Weblinks:
Hello, Hunter - The Facebook Page

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/28/2014

- People in the Northwoods didn't let the chillier temperatures stop them from heading out for Black Friday this morning.

- Kids in Eagle River got a special treat at the Northwoods Children's Museum. The museum brought in two live turkeys for their annual Turkey and Traditions event. Every November, two turkeys are brought in to help teach kids about where their Thanksgiving meal comes from. Hear about the importance of the program coming up on Newswatch 12 tonight.

- If you're not in the Christmas spirit yet, a local model train show can help transport you to Santa's Village.

- And homemade pizzas turn into more than sauce and dough at one Eagle River household. We'll meet Gary Anderson tonight on Newswatch 12 and tell you how his pizza making turned into a fundraising tool to help people in the Northwoods.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Funeral set for 3 children who died in U.P. crashSubmitted: 11/28/2014

DAGGETT, MI - A funeral has been scheduled for the three children killed in a weather-related crash in the Upper Peninsula.

TV station WBUP-WBKP reports (http://bit.ly/1vpSGy8 ) the funeral for Michael, Maxwell and Joelle McCue is set for Sunday at the Carney Free Church in the Menominee County community of Carney. The children ages 11 to 14 died Monday after their van smashed into a semi-truck on snowy U.S. 41 near Daggett.

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Lead found in City of Wausau drinking waterSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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WAUSAU - Wausau Water Works recently found elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

Now they're asking homeowners to be cautious when using that water.

The city stopped installing lead service lines in 1965.

They stopped using lead solder in 1986.

Today most pipes are made of either copper or plastic.

Any home with lead service lines could have lead in its water.

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Local churches deliver Thanksgiving mealsSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - Members of two local churches came together this Thanksgiving to serve the community.

Grace Foursquare Church and North Country Vineyard Church in Rhinelander prepared and delivered meals to people in the area.

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Madison College to train police on use of dronesSubmitted: 11/27/2014

MADISON - Madison College is developing a program to train law enforcement officers on how to operate drones.

Several law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are considering the use of drones, for situations such as search-and-rescue missions or tactical operations.

Madison College is coming up with training that will show police and firefighters how to fly the unmanned aerial devices, as well as how to use them ethically.

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Rhinelander residents can give input on city's futureSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - People living in Rhinelander will find something extra with their tax bills this year.

They'll get a survey.

Cities are required by law to create a comprehensive plan.

They create a new plan every decade.

City leaders hope the survey results will help them plan for the city's future.

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Friendship House provides free Thanksgiving meal for the communitySubmitted: 11/27/2014

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RHINELANDER - Many local businesses want to pay it forward this Thanksgiving. That includes Friendship House in Rhinelander.

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