Nate is a sweet 2 year old little boy who was born with Trisomy 18 (also known as Edwards Syndrome). Trisomy 18 is a rare genetic disorder which results with a person having three copies of the 18th chromosome instead of the normal two copies. This disorder is a random fluke of nature, the outcome of an error in cell division at conception that was not caused by, nor a result of, a specific event or reason.
Nate's story started before he was born. During the 12-week pregnancy ultrasound scan Nate showed signs that things were not as they should be; there were "markers" that things were not developing right. Further testing during the pregnancy eventually revealed that Nate had Trisomy 18. It's a devastating disorder that results with significant physical, intellectual and developmental problems and delays.
The physical issues that Nate faces includes cardiac abnormalities, orthopaedic abnormalities, growth delays, weak immunity, swallowing and feeding issues, as well as hypotonia, meaning he has very low tone which makes it difficult for him to use his body and muscles to do things that we all take for granted, such as sitting, standing and walking.
Nate's Trisomy 18 also results with intellectual disabilities and global developmental delays. Despite being 2 years old he is still the size of a small 1 year old and has only reached milestones of a typical 6 month old; he can roll, he can also sit independently albeit for only short periods of time, he can hold himself in a crawling position if placed in it, but he is still unable to crawl independently, unable to transition from different positions such as from laying to sitting, nor can he stand or walk, which are all skills that a typical 2 year old would easily accomplish. He has swallowing difficulties and is unable to feed effectively by mouth, so he is fed via a nasogastric tube, a tube that runs into his nose, down his oesophagus and into his tummy. He communicates with smiles and frowns, he babbles with oohs and aahs, and has just started to say "mamama", but he hasn't yet developed the skills to vocalise any actual words.
To follow Nate's journey further, please visit his social media sites, the links to Facebook and Instagram are at the top of this page.
East Victoria Park, Perth, Western Australia