Twins With Down Syndrome Are One In A Million

Jul 22, 2020

Twin girls Abigail and Isobel Parry born with Down syndrome featured in the YouTube series Born Different in 2017.

This comes as a story of love, adversity, and overcoming the odds. Down syndrome, a genetic disorder from when abnormal cell divisions cause issues within chromosomes, causes severe developmental and physical issues. It varies in severity across all individuals that have it, causing developmental delays and disabilities that last throughout the sufferer's life. In children, it often leads to other medial abnormalities such as gastrointestinal disorders and heart conditions.

Though each person with Down syndrome is an individual, there are some distinct facial features that are characteristic of the disease. Boston Children's Hospital shares some of the common factors:

  • Excessive flexibility
  • Abnormally stubby fingers and feet
  • Oddly shaped or sized ears
  • Poor muscle development
  • Upward-slanting eyelids
  • Protruding tongue
  • Small head
  • Flattened face
  • Tiny white spots on the colored part of the eyes
  • Short height for age

All of these symptoms and more would become all-too-familiar with one family from the United Kingdom after coming back from the hospital.

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The family has already had a child, a son. The little boy is clearly a loving brother to the twins, though he admits that the girls wake him up every morning at five in the morning and that they’re “a bit annoying.” The girls like to jump up and down on the trampoline in the backyard, draw pictures, and write numbers with the help of their mom.

They also like to color and share the coloring tools readily with their older brother. He says that having sisters with Down syndrome means that he needs to take care of them a little more than if he had sisters who didn’t have the condition.

The mother says that there is nothing in the world that could ever convince her to change the fortunes of her two children. The father recalls that when the diagnosis was told to them that it was as if the whole world had ended. The couple had no idea that they were carrying children who had Down syndrome, only being made aware of the fact a week later after delivery.

The doctor who told them said that he was sorry and that the children would have the condition for the rest of their lives. However, after living with the twins for years, the mother has no idea what he would be sorry about because they are like two little angels to her. She claims that if she could meet the doctor again, that she’d ask him why he’s sorry for anything at all because there’s no way she’d trade the girls out.

The odds of having twins with Down syndrome are one in a million. Most people who have a Down syndrome diagnosis terminate the pregnancy. Several have expressed to the couple that there’s no way they could deal with the trials that come with raising a child with such a diagnosis, let alone twins.

Though there is a decision that only every individual on their own could possibly make, often after meeting these twins, visitors come away with an entirely different outlook regarding the less severe forms of Down syndrome.

“They make everyone laugh, they make everyone smile,” says the Mom Jodi Parry. The parents still set goals for their children, and they help them less and less with daily tasks. Instead of withering as a family, the group is more robust than ever before. The girls are excelling in school, and they are even able to be in standard classes.

Do you or someone you know have a child with Down syndrome? We want to hear your story!