Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Progeria


Sunday Night I was in bed, flipping through my 25 channels, on my super duper Dubai TV, (which I can not program in Canadian order for the life of me,) when I came across a program on TVO called “In Times Shadow: The Hegis Story.” The next hour and a half broke my heart.

The documentary was about a little girl named Ashley, who at sixteen months had been diagnosed with ‘Progeria.’ At the time of the documentary Ashley was six years old, going on sixty. Progeria is a rare (only about 40-45 cases world wide) terminal condition that causes children to age at an accelerated rate. It comes from the Greek work meaning ‘prematurely old.’ Ashley looks like a shrunken old lady. She is bald, with her veins showing through, wears glasses and suffers from blinding migraines. Children with Progeria rarely survive past their early teens, usually suffering from numerous heart problems and strokes. Ashley has already had four strokes.

Ashley’s mum Lori had Ashley when she was eighteen. Lori later divorced Ashley’s father, only to meet a sweet man, who took care of them for two years, before tragically drowning. My heart ached for this woman, she has literally been charged to raise a daughter who will die. A note of hope, on their website, Lori seems to have found a new man to love her.

I have gotten rather whinny over the years. I often think jeez why can’t I have this, or why can’t I make this or that happen.

Stories like this sure bring you back to reality real quick.

3 comments:

bitsandgiggles said...

I saw a similar documentary a few weeks ago. Broke my heart and humbled me all at once.

cool destiny said...

It is a blessing when you give birth to a child who is healthy. I thank God every day for my healthy bouncing boy.

I too saw Ashley's story. I have the utmost respect for persons raising children with whatever disability or deficiency especially single parents. It takes great strength, patience and faith to do it.

Abeni said...

Yes,very heartbreaking.First saw about this disease ona talk show few years back. Thank God for health which we so take for granted