Jacob Usher is just one of the estimated 6,000 babies born in the United States each year with Down syndrome according to the CDC. Babies and adults with Down syndrome can have physical problems, as well as intellectual disabilities. Every baby born with Down syndrome is different. In addition to the physical signs, some might have major birth defects or other medical problems. However, many people with Down syndrome live happy, productive lives well into adulthood. Still, some physical problems associated with Down syndrome include a birth defect of the heart which is the case for Jacob.
Jacob has a hole in his heart and a malfunctioning heart valve, which the doctors at Brenner have tried to repair using a donor heart valve and a complex technique. Unfortunately, they were not successful and he is back at Baptist Hospital and has very high pulmonary pressure and a blockage. The doctor says that they have tried to make his heart normal and they just can't. Jacob would need a heart and lung transplant, but is not a candidate for it and it would only add maybe five years to his life. The right side of his heart is overworking and causing failure. For now the plan is to medicate him to help lower the pulmonary pressure.
Jacob is very much loved and cared for by his grandparents (Linda and Tommy). He enjoys playing with his older brother and sister. He brings joy into every life he touches including mine. Join me in praying for the doctors to find the answers and give the family strength as they go through this journey to find a cure for this precious child.
Norma Honeycutt, Executive Director