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


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

Play Video

MOSINEE - Seven people sit in jail, suspected of involvement in a home invasion armed robbery in Mosinee last week.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Anglers from across the country came to Rhinelander Friday to compete at the USA Ice Team open trials. Yes, ice fishing has a national team.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A 35-year-old Rhinelander man will spend four years in prison for burglarizing a number of businesses in Rhinelander in March 2014.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You get your mail almost every day. It's a routine you may not think much about. But it takes a lot for some Northwoods mail carriers to deliver your letters and packages, especially with snow and cold. We followed one Northwoods rural mail carrier and saw how she delivers mail through tough weather conditions.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - A Marathon County judge has sentenced Warren Krohn to 25 years in prison in the 2012 beating death of popular Wausau bowler Kerby Kniess.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Students in Wausau will be able to go to school online next school year.

The Wausau School District is working on a virtual school program. The program, named Wausau Area Virtual Education, is for sixth through 12th graders.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Electricity costs a lot of money, especially when you're not used to paying for it.

The Rhinelander Area Food Pantry moved into a new location in October. In the old building, the pantry didn't have to pay for utilities. Now they do.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here