Loading

75°F

76°F

77°F

75°F

79°F

77°F

78°F

75°F

75°F

78°F

77°F

82°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

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


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

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - As temperatures rise in the dog days of summer, knowing how to prevent and react to heat exhaustion can save a life.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - "Back in 2010, people wanted answers," remembers DNR Research Scientist Dr. Carl Watras, who works out of the UW-Madison Trout Lake Research Station in Boulder Junction.

Lake levels across the Northwoods were down. Way down.

"I'd get on my dock, I step off, and I walk another 20 feet, and I still haven't hit water yet," Watras says, echoing the situation of many other Northwoods lakefront property owners.

Early this decade, many Northwoods lake levels were down not simply by a matter of inches, but in some cases, several feet.

+ Read More

WABENO - Wabeno prides itself on drawing more and more people to its small community. It's doing things like building new trails and coming up with new events.

This weekend, the town will host the first ever "Wabeno Art and Music Fest". People in Wabeno say they have a unique passion for the arts.

"The Wabeno Art and Music Fest, or WAM Fest, as we call it, is an outgrowth of the various art activities that have been burgeoning here in Wabeno over the last number of years," said Tim Friesen, a coordinator of the event.

+ Read More

CHICAGO -

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants to see changes to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He thinks the E-P-A should become an "umbrella organization," with most of its powers shifted to state regulators.

Walker said he would not eliminate the EPA if he is elected president.

But, he would shift its powers and resources to state environmental agencies like Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources.

(Copyright 2015 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


+ Read More

WAUSAU - The name sounds scarier than most of the symptoms would suggest, but doctors take West Nile virus seriously.

This week, a dead crow in Marathon County tested positive for West Nile. The Marathon County Health Department reported the discovery Monday. Counties look mainly at crows, blue jays, and ravens to find the virus. It is spread mostly through mosquito bites.

+ Read More

Play Video

PARK FALLS - Filling a downtown with businesses doesn't just happen overnight. Leaders in Park Falls found that out over the past six years, but slowly they're making progress. This year, the Park Falls Downtown Beautification Committee finished a plan to improve downtown.

"It's a very dedicated group, small group of people that just kept at it and at it and at it over the last six years until we came to the finished product," says committee chair Laurie Wagner.

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - A crash on a Vilas County lake severely injured a Park Falls man over the weekend.

Twenty-five-year-old Joel Goll crashed into a docked boat while wakeboarding on Ike Walton Lake Saturday afternoon.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here