Yes, you’ve read that right!

Chloe was born over 20 years ago. Truth be said, she was indeed a very poorly baby from the start and none of the professionals could figure out why. She wouldn’t feed and was vomiting meconium and blood. A surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome fell the day after she was born and gave those same professionals licence to suggest that it would be rather merciful for all concerned if Mother Nature was allowed to take its course. “Let her die naturally”, they dared say, so as not to “burden” the rest of our lives. Those few words scarred us for life, and I’m “only” the grandmother!

My daughter would hear none of it and was desperate to save her baby girl.
Down syndrome didn’t explain any of her health problems and it took 5 agonising days until a wonderful consultant diagnosed her with Hirshprung disease. He saved her life when others had already given up on her just because of those 2 words: Down syndrome.

There’s no denying she had a rough start: a few operations, a colostomy, an ileostomy, reversal operations, all before she was 18 months old.

There’s not denying milestones were reached at her own pace, through sheer determination.

But one thing is for sure, there’s no denying Chloe has never been a burden to any of her relatives who all love her dearly. We’ve all been learning so much through her since she was born.

Although we were told she would never swim: she has swum competitively.

Although we were told she would never be able to read or write: her reading and writing are excellent.

Now 23 years old, Chloe is a headstrong young woman, still spurred on by that same determination that has helped her overcome so much and with such a positive attitude.

She loves to boast that one of her best memories so far is singing to David Beckham (but that’s another story!). Just saying…
We are incredibly proud to say that Chloe now teaches Makaton to her peers through workshops and you can follow her on her instagram account: @chloe_signz.

And yes, just in case it’s still not clear: I am so proud of my beautiful, feisty granddaughter and could not imagine my life without her.

Follow Chloe Signz here

Written by Jean Smith (Gran)


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