MOM IS THANKFUL SHE DIDN’T DITCH HER DOWN SYNDROME BABY AS SUGGESTED BY DOCTORS, 33 YEARS AGO. MOM IS THANKFUL SHE DIDN’T DITCH HER DOWN SYNDROME BABY AS SUGGESTED BY DOCTORS, 33 YEARS AGO.
Thirty-three years ago, Mirka Anderson was given the option to abort her new born baby as she was born with Down Syndrome. The British mom... MOM IS THANKFUL SHE DIDN’T DITCH HER DOWN SYNDROME BABY AS SUGGESTED BY DOCTORS, 33 YEARS AGO.

Thirty-three years ago, Mirka Anderson was given the option to abort her new born baby as she was born with Down Syndrome.

The British mom suggests the doctors perceived her newborn to be a ‘useless piece of flesh’. Despite the stigma, Mirka would never give up on her baby. So she insisted on keeping her baby. Today, Mirka looks back and is proud she made that big decision.

 

Barely one day after Mirka Anderson gave birth to her baby, Emma, at the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge, doctors told her to abandon her newborn, because they presumed the child “wouldn’t do anything” in her life, as she was born with Down syndrome.

    However, this brave British mom didn’t yield to the suggestion of the doctors. She took her baby home.

Well, today, Mirka is thankful she made that decision because it has been more that thirty years, and unlike the doctor’s presumption that Emma “wouldn’t do anything in her life”, Emma is a successful artist. Her works are being showcased at the prestigious gallery Tate Modern, as well as other London galleries.

However, this journey hasn’t been rosy for Emma, but she did not give up, neither did her mom give up on her.

As a child, Mirka was told Emma couldn’t attend a normal playgroup with other kids.

 

“Emma has her challenges, mainly with socializing and social isolation, and sadly she has been marginalized all her life because people don’t know how to be with her—she needs things relayed to her in a simple, clear way and people these days don’t have time for that,” Mirka told Royston Crow.

Despite these challenges, Mirka fought to have Emma attend mainstream school.

“I am from communist Poland so we are used to jumping red tape. Throughout her schooling all I asked for was for her to be given a chance,” she said.

Thanks to her mother’s determination, Emma went on to complete secondary school with a GCSE in Art.

While Emma was studying at Cambridge Regional College in 2005, a college teacher encouraged her to enter her artworks into an art competition. Fortunately,Emma won the competition, and her paintings were exhibited at Tate Modern.

Emma now sells her paintings and sculptures at public exhibitions, and volunteers to look after children at a nursery and the kids adore her.

Mirka, in the hopes of spreading awareness about Down syndrome, made a short film-The Sky is the Limit, which Emma’s life story featured in this award winning documentary. The film was directed my Mirka herself.

Speaking of the 25-minute documentary, Mirka said: “It has a strong focus on the fact these people are socially marginalized. Spend some time with them and you discover amazing stuff.”

“I have spent 33 years of my life fighting for the fact these people have potential,” Mirka said. “We all have abilities, limited abilities, disabilities.”

“It was very damaging as a mother who had just given birth to be told your baby is a useless piece of flesh. Look at her now. She’s a super kid,” Mirka said with pride.

 

Mirka hopes that with Emma’s achievements, people and doctors will change the way they look at babies or people with Down Syndrome and stop aborting them, thinking they “wouldn’t do anything in Life”. They too deserve a chance at life. They have got emotions and potentials, just like we all do.

 

 

 

Obinna Onyia

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