‘Don’t worry, Future Mum’: People with Down syndrome send tear-jerking message of hope to worried mother expecting a baby with the condition
- The video has been launched for World Down Syndrome Day, on Friday
- It features 15 young adult actors with Down’s syndrome
- They explain to the mother what her child could be able to do
- The tear-jerking film has been viewed almost 1.2 million times in a week
By Emma Innes
All expectant parents hope their unborn baby will grow up to become a happy and healthy person.
So, if they are suddenly told their child will have a disability, they often experience a huge amount of worry and fear.
In a bid to offer reassurance and comfort to parents-to-be who find themselves in this position, a heart-warming video featuring people with Down’s syndrome has been released.
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The video, which was launched on YouTube for World Down Syndrome Day, which is on Friday, has been viewed more than a million times in less than a week.
The film was created by Saatchi & Saatchi for CoorDown – the Italian Coordinator of the National Association of People with Down Syndrome.
It features a group of 15 young adults and children from across Europe all of whom have Down’s syndrome.
The actors involved in the film include Sarah Gordy who has Down’s syndrome and who appeared in BBC1’s Call The Midwife on February 16.
They each share a tear-jerking message which is aimed at a mother-to-be who has just learned her baby has the genetic condition.
The video, which has currently been viewed almost 1.2 million times, opens with this statement: ‘On the 9th of February, we received this email from a future mom.
‘”I’m expecting a baby. I’ve discovered he has Down syndrome. I’m scared: what kind of life will my child have?”‘
The message goes on to say: ‘Today we reply to her like this.’
The film then shows a group of young people with Down’s syndrome, all of whom address the mother to explain what her child will be able to do.
They say: ‘Dear future mom, don’t be afraid, your child will be able to do many things.
‘He’ll be able to hug you. He’ll be able to run towards you. He’ll be able to speak and tell you he loves you.’
The participants, who speak in a range of European languages, go on: ‘He’ll be able to go to school, like everybody. He’ll be able to learn to write. And he’ll be able to write to you.’
They conclude: ‘Sometimes it will be difficult. Very difficult. Almost impossible. But isn’t it like that for all mothers?
‘Dear future mom, your child can be happy. Just like I am. And you’ll be happy too.’
Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition that causes some level of learning disability and a characteristic range of physical features.
Most babies with Down’s syndrome are diagnosed shortly after birth and are likely to have reduced muscle tone, eyes that slant upwards, a low birth weight, a small nose and mouth and short fingers.
They also have some degree of learning disability, but this varies widely between children.
Some children with Down’s syndrome also have associated health problems such as heart disorders, digestive problems, hearing and visual impairments, thyroid dysfunction and blood disorders.
It is one of the most common genetic causes of learning disability and around 750 babies are born with the condition each year in the UK.
It is caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21 in the baby’s cells.
Currently, no one knows what causes the presence of the extra chromosome but Down’s syndrome is more common in children born to older mothers.
For example, if a woman has a baby when she is 25 there is a one in 1,250 chance of her baby having Down’s syndrome, but if a 45-year-old woman has a baby, there is a one in 30 chance of the baby having Down’s syndrome.