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Esme’s story: “She is the best thing that has happened to me”

Esme World Down's syndrome Day
19 March 2021

If you were to meet two-year-old Esme, you might find her singing along to some music, enjoying some story time or simply dancing away!

Since coming to Sheffield Children’s shortly after being born at Jessops, Esme has been cared for a range of services including Speech and Language Therapy, Portage, Ophthalmology, ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat), Endocrinology,  Orthotics, Cardiology, Hearing Services and Dietetics.

Her mum, Tracy said: “I was pregnant when I found out that my baby would be born with Down’s syndrome and it was like the end of the world because I was afraid but it’s really not awful. She is the best thing that has happened to me, even though I was worried at the time. If there was more positive awareness it would have been easier for me, as a lot of the images I found felt outdated. What was portrayed on the internet didn’t fit with what I found in reality and thankfully that is starting to change.

“This was all completely new to me but on the health side everyone has been really supportive.”

Esme and Tracy first visited Ryegate Children’s Centre where they met a neuro disability consultant who was remained in contact with Esme throughout almost all of her care.

Most recently, she has been treated by the Ophthalmology team for Glaucoma, where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. Glaucoma is fairly common in older adults, but much rarer for children of Esme’s age.

Tracy added: “We appreciate all of the care and treatment that Esme has received. Dr Elder in particular is really lovely.”

On World Down’s Syndrome Day, Tracy also has some advice for all of us.

“Just treat someone with Down’s syndrome like you would anyone else. It doesn’t define who they are – it’s just a part of them, so don’t be scared.

“Esme can’t walk unaided but there’s only been a little delay in her development so far. I don’t think it affects her life too much. She really enjoys playing and talking to children her own age and I really want her to always be included.

“Personally I would prefer people to ask and engage with me and Esme. If everyone was a little more aware then they would see there’s just nothing to be afraid of.” 

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