Published June 09, 2016
A Florida mother who said her doctor advised her to abort her child after detecting Down syndrome during a prenatal appointment has shared a photo of the girl mailing a letter to that same doctor.
“This is Emmy, mailing our letter to the prenatal specialist who didn’t want her to live,” Courtney Baker, Emmy’s mom, wrote on the Parker Myles Facebook page. “He said her and our quality of life would be horrible. He was so unbelievably wrong. I want to do something to advocate, but other than my letter to him, I don’t know what yet.”
Baker sent the letter to the doctor last month, and in it she wrote of a friend whose doctor had declared a child born with Down syndrome “perfect.”
“Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. He looked at her little boy and said ‘I told you. He’s perfect.’ Her story tore me apart,” Baker wrote. “While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. I wish you would have been that doctor.”
“I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you,” Baker said. “But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.”
“From that first visit, we dreaded our appointments. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth. My child was perfect,” Baker said. “I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m just really sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m said you were so wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.”
Baker wrote that Emmy has touched the hearts of thousands and has only added to the family’s quality of life, which includes older sisters Rhyan, 14, and Evynn, 11. She wrote that Emmy has given them a purpose and joy and fills their days with smiles, laughter and sweet kisses.
“She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love,” Baker wrote. “So my prayer is that no other mommy will have to go through what I did. My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every sonogram. And my prayer is that when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me then tell her the truth: ‘Your child is perfect.’”
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21, which alters development, according to the National Down Syndrome Society. Common physical traits include low muscle tone, small stature and an upward slant to the eyes. It occurs in one in every 691 babies in the U.S. Individuals with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is mild to moderate.
The doctor was not named in the letter, but other media outlets have described the family as being from Florida.