Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Our Wonderful Girl Is Living Life to the Full; Each Year around 750 Babies Are Born with Down's Syndrome in the UK. MYHEALTH Health Reporter HELEN RAE Speaks to One Woman Whose Daughter Has the Condition

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Our Wonderful Girl Is Living Life to the Full; Each Year around 750 Babies Are Born with Down's Syndrome in the UK. MYHEALTH Health Reporter HELEN RAE Speaks to One Woman Whose Daughter Has the Condition

Article excerpt

LOVING FAMILY Dave and brothers TEENAGER Rebecca Cornell is a sociable young woman who enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

The 19-year-old was born with Down's Syndrome and has had to deal with a number of health complications throughout her lifetime.

But she has not let it hold her back and loves going shopping and taking part in activities such as bowling.

Her mum Beverley, 41, of Jarrow, South Tyneside, said: "Rebecca is a sociable young woman and loves the company of her peer group.

"She is happy-go-lucky and lets nothing get her down. She enjoys being the centre of attention and has a good life."

Down's Syndrome affects around one in 1,000 babies born in the UK - about 750 babies a year - and it is a genetic condition that causes physical and intellectual impairments.

Parents Beverley and Darren, 45, a forklift truck driver, had no idea that their daughter had the condition until she was born at South Tyneside General Hospital. All went well during Beverley's pregnancy and Rebecca was born a healthy 8lb 3oz.

However, it soon became apparent that something was not right, and doctors broke the news that Rebecca had Down's Syndrome.

"When I was told I nearly fell through the floor as it was a shock," explained Beverley.

"It took a few days for me to get over the shock, but my husband quickly adapted to the situation."

People with Down's Syndrome are at a higher risk of congenital heart defects, and wheelchair-bound Rebecca has had two heart operations.

When she was just months old she had surgery to separate her heart valves and then, at the age of 13, she had a mechanical heart valve fitted.

The teenager, who has siblings Jamie, 17, and Charlie, eight, also has cerebral palsy and has needed surgery to correct a dislocated hip.

Rebecca is only able to speak a few words but does communicate through sign language. …

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