The following is Will's Story:
August 26, 2010 is the day that completely changed our lives forever. Not only had we just become parents for the first time to a beautiful little boy named William Jay Kriegesmann. We were informed by our pediatrician shortly after his birth that Will was born with Down Syndrome.
Words can't describe the emotional roller coaster ride my wife and I were on. The tears were definitely flowing as we were in shock. Little did we know this was just the beginning of the ride, as later that evening we were told that Will had a hole in his heart, and they wanted to use the echocardiogram machine at Children's to get a better view. All the grandparents went with Will to Children's as I waited for my wife to be discharged the next day. As soon as they said she could leave we took off for the Children's Hospital. We were there for the next 3 weeks with our little boy in the NICU. During the time in the NICU we had to learn how to put a feeding tube in, in order to take care of Will when we went home. After three weeks of learning how to care for him, we felt like we had become Doctor's and just couldn't believe all of this was happening to us. All we wanted to do was enjoy our beautiful little boy, and take care of him but we had to get past these crazy hurdles first!
Due to the high risk they don't like to do the open heart surgery til at least the age of 6 months. You have no idea how much we were praying for time to fly-by so that our son could have his heart surgery. We were released from the hospital to go home and wait for the surgery and yet we were so excited to be home, be a family, and to be able to show him off to family and friends.
On the ninth day at home, Will, out of nowhere, took a turn for the worse and went into respiratory heart failure. I've never driven so fast in all my life, and have never been so scared. It's the worst feeling knowing you can't take the pain away from your child and fix his heart condition. The incredible staff at Children's Hospital were finally able to get him intubated and he had his successful heart surgery. A week later we were back home and Will's heart is doing great these days!
I can tell you that individuals who have Down Syndrome are the most loving people you will ever meet, and that all the evil things in this world never enter into their lives.
Jay Kriegesmann, Will's dad