Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Families Fear Future as Kids Become Adults

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Sixteen weeks into her third pregnancy, Lourdes Rivera-Putz’s gynecologist alerted her to a situation that, she would soon learn, would change the course of her life.
After a prenatal examination, the gynecologist called her up and said there was an unusually high level of alpha-fetoprotein in her blood, and went on to explain the significance of the anomaly: it could be a harmless temporary surge that would subside later. Or it could also indicate an increased likelihood that the fetus had chromosomal problems, such as Down syndrome, which would limit the child’s physical and mental development.
The gynecologist recommended that Rivera-Putz go through amniocentesis, a test that would give a clearer indication of the presence of any health issues. But the invasive procedure, which involves inserting a needle into the uterus, has been known to lead to miscarriage or injury to the fetus in some cases. “I was determined to have this child no matter what,” Rivera-Putz says. So she declined the test, and waited for the birth of her child.
Five months later, she gave birth to a boy, whom she and her husband, Frank Putz, named Jonathan. The elevated alpha-fetoprotein was a harbinger – Jonathan was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

No comments:

Post a Comment