Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Secret Inequality: People with Disablities

Today I found out that a beautiful 25 year old women, that was close to my family passed away early this morning from complications from the flu. She had Down Syndrome just like my big sister does. 

I will call her J for the privacy of her family. She came to the pool I worked at all the time during the summer wearing spider man googles. She was adorable, happy, and above all healthy. 

While we like to pretend that people with disabilities are now viewed as equal in our society the fact is that this is just not true. J could still be alive today if she was given proper medical attention, which didn't happen most likely because of her disability. 

When her mother first brought her to the ER they blew it off as her having the flu. If they had listened to her that it was something more serious J could have been saved. 

This is not the only instance of doctors not taking people with disabilities medical concerns seriously. My older sister this past year had been acting strange and my family KNEW something was wrong. Every doctor we saw (Getting doctors to see her was challenging too) said that she was just "depressed." We knew it was something more serious than that. 

Me and My big sister Emy

Finally we found someone who took our concerns seriously and after tests found out that she has alzheimers. Which is very common among people with Down Syndrome. She is now being treated for it and while there is no cure we can at least hope to slow it's progression and make sure she is never in pain. 

People with mental disabilities are just as valuable as those born without extra challenges. This means they deserve the exact same medical attention as "normal" people. 

Please pray for J and her family in this difficult time and be aware of the inequality in how people with disabilities are treated. 

Thank you,


  1. Hi, I'm a new reader and follower of your blog (Halle recommended me).

    I don't know many people with disabilities and I can't say "I know how it is...", but my heart does go out to your family as well as J's family. I can't imagine what your sister and J must have to go through and people with disabilities are not treated as equals though some people do like to pretend that is true.

    I'm sure that no matter what lies ahead in your sister's future, your love and support is one of the greatest things she has.

    ♥ Duckie.

  2. Wow Heyley- thanks so much for sharing with us- I don't have much knowledge about this so you really opened my eyes- something your blog has been doing a lot lately! I will keep you friend and your sister and you in my prayers!

    1. I'm so glad that I was able to open your eyes! I forget that most people don't deal with people with disabilities all the time so they may not know about all the extra things that come along with it! Thank you for your prayers Liz.

  3. Amen to all of this! I think it can be even harder when you can't tell that a child has disabilities (Autism). It just breaks my heart when people are unkind. You're friend's family will be in our prayers!

    1. That is so true! People need to respect all forms of disabilities whether they are obvious or not! Thank you for your prayers Carlie :)