Mum’s powerful open-letter to doctor who said ‘sorry’ after giving Down syndrome diagnosis

Stuff 8 December 2018
Family First Comment: “You were the one that saw her as a diagnosis and all we saw was our new precious daughter.” she said. 

A US mum has written a powerful open letter to the doctor who said “sorry” after diagnosing her baby daughter with Down syndrome.

Texas mum Amber Rojas, who gave birth to daughter Amadeus in July, wrote on Instagram she would never forget the comment but had since forgiven the doctor.

“Dear Doctor, You may not remember me or my daughter but I will never forget you, but I forgive you,” she wrote. “You were the one who told me all the things she wouldn’t do; but you never told me the things she could. You were the one that told me my daughter couldn’t nurse because of her low tone and because of her heart defect, but what you don’t know is that she exclusively breastfeed for four solid months. I even had to bring her to work with me because she didn’t want anything else.”The doctor had also expressed concerns about Amadeus’ ability to gain weight, causing stress and anxiety for the family.

“You were the one that diagnosed her with Failure to Thrive and expressed your concerns of her gaining weight, but what you don’t know is that she is now one of the bigger babies in our birth class and in two weeks is turning 1,” Amber wrote. “You were the one who made the decision to give her a [nasogastric tube] because of your concerns and her weight gain causing a horrible oral aversion to the point that she couldn’t even put her own hands in her mouth.”

Fortunately, Amadeus overcame the oral aversion and was able to eat on her own. But regardless, Amber admitted the doctor still made her feel guilty about her parenting ability.

Amadeus has since learned to feed herself, she wrote.

She wrote about the guilt she felt when the doctor implied the mother of five would not be able to look after Amadeus.

“You were the one that made me feel I wasn’t good enough to handle a special needs baby being a mother of five, but what you didn’t know is that she was put here for OUR special needs.”

One of her most painful memories was when her doctor apologised for the Down syndrome diagnosis.

“You were the one that delivered my daughter’s diagnosis. You were the one that patted me on the shoulder and told me you were ‘sorry!’ Sorry that my daughter was diagnosed with T21, but what you didn’t tell me was that her diagnosis and our story would save lives.”

But Rojas decided to forgive the doctor regardless.

“You were the one that saw her as a diagnosis and all we saw was our new precious daughter.” she said.

“Not once did you stop to congratulate me on my new born. So I forgive you. I forgive you because you didn’t know her. You didn’t know me and you didn’t know what We were capable of.”


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