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Down syndrome: A family's journey

Published September 14. 2010 05:00PM

In March, after a difficult pregnancy, Mary Anne Christo and her husband, Eric Waksmunski, were blessed with twins.

Anticipating the usual complications faced by premature babies, the couple also had to face the unexpected when both Shane and Wyatt were diagnosed with Down syndrome. According to the National Down syndrome Cytogenetic Register in London, it is estimated that of all births, there will be 14 or 15 sets of non-identical twins with Down syndrome in every 1 million births.

Before they could appreciate how rare their situation was, or how much their lives were about to change, the couple had to deal with the reality of their situation. Their babies were seriously ill.

Over the next few months they would face multiple surgeries and numerous infections. They would stop breathing or lose consciousness, and on at least one occasion, required CPR. It seemed for awhile that every day they faced a new challenge and a new danger, but eventually, after four months of hospitalization, with just a brief trip home for Shane, both babies would be well enough to leave the hospital.

Chapter Two of Shane and Wyatt's story is about that long, hard journey home. Grab your copy of today's TIMES NEWS or visit the link to the Down syndrome special report, located on the TIMES NEWS website front page.

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