Human Interest

‘She’s a miracle’: Oldest woman in U.S. with Trisomy 18 celebrates 40th birthday

trisomy 18

Forty years ago, Ron and Sara Hayes were told their newborn baby girl, Megan, would not survive her infancy. She had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a condition considered by most doctors to be incompatible with life. But Megan proved them wrong and, amazingly, just celebrated her 40th birthday. She is the oldest person in the United States living with Trisomy 18 and the second oldest in the world, according to Oklahoma City News 9.

“When Megan was born, she immediately went to the NICU,” her mother, Sara Hayes, told the news outlet. “I didn’t get to see her at all until the next day and that was looking through a window.”

Testing revealed that Megan had Trisomy 18, a rare genetic condition is which a person has three copies of chromosome 18, and doctors told her parents “she [would] probably die within four months.”

READ: Compatible with life: Man with Trisomy 18 celebrates 18th birthday against all odds

Yet Megan continued to thrive. Doctors believe this is because, unlike other patients with the condition, Megan was born with a healthy heart. She continues to surprise doctors, however, to this day.



“I think when she lost her first tooth I almost cried,” said Sara Hayes. She said Megan is “eager to please,” and loves to laugh, watch sports with her father, read books with her mother, and go to church on Sundays. She has also graduted from high school.

“It’s a delight. It’s a delight. She wakes up every morning happy, smile on her face,” said her father, Ron Hayes. “It’s not a death sentence for having a child like this.”

In recent years, some doctors have realized that with the right medical care, people with Trisomy 18 can live longer than previously thought possible, and more stories of people with the condition beating the odds have been surfacing.

“These kids really are living, and they are doing these things,” said Sara Hayes. “[…] The doctors don’t know what to tell us. […] She’s a miracle. I don’t know how else to explain it.”

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