One New Jersey family is celebrating a milestone they were told would never happen: their daughter’s graduation from high school in the top five of her class. Patch reports that Sara Deuidicibus of Middletown, New Jersey, graduated fourth in her class with a GPA of 3.97 from Middletown High School North. But if her parents had taken the advice of medical professionals, Sara’s life would have ended before she was born.
Patch explains that while in utero, “doctors warned her parents that Sara, now 17, would have Down syndrome. They said she would be severely mentally and physically handicapped, and advised her mother to terminate the pregnancy.” Sadly, the Deuidicibuses’ experience is far from unique. Many families facing a possible diagnosis of a genetic condition or disability are encouraged to end their children’s lives by abortion.
Remarkably, when faced with the possible diagnosis before birth, the doctors recommending abortion admitted that Down syndrome is not generally a fatal condition and does not inhibit the child’s quality of life. Sara’s mother said, “We asked the doctor: Will she be in any pain? Will she have a shortened life span?” She continued, “When the answer to both those questions came back no, we said, ‘We’ll deal with it. If she has Down syndrome, we’ll deal with it.”
Sara’s parents chose life for their daughter, who was not born with Down syndrome after all.
However, in Sara’s first year of life, her parents discovered an issue the doctors had not predicted. Her mother said, “There was a problem: It was like she was blank. All she did was scream or cry and eat and sleep. It was all sensory-related; she couldn’t stand smells, or being touched or noises. I remember when I gave her her first bath she passed out.”
Gradually, the family realized that Sara, like her brother, had autism, and her parents worked tirelessly to provide early intervention that they say made all the difference in helping their children thrive.
Watching their daughter graduate was a momentous event. “I am in awe of her. I know I’m biased, but I could not do half of what she does,” said her mom, Dina Deuidicibus. “The whole thing is miraculous.”
Even if a child has a life-limiting condition, abortion is not a humane or altruistic “solution” but a violent means of ending the child’s life.
And Sara certainly is thriving. Patch reports, “Sara received $50,000 in scholarship money to attend Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, where her brother currently is a sophomore. She plans to major in biomedical engineering. She said she would like to be a neurosurgeon, trauma surgeon or work in a lab in adulthood.”
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