Wall of Hope: Stories of Courage & Inspiration
Mari Charlesworth learned that her daughter, MJ, would have Down syndrome early on in her pregnancy.
Though Mari was worried MJ wouldn’t be able to survive to term, she decided to keep the pregnancy and remained optimistic that everything would work out as it should.
“I was just happy,” says Mari. “I had hope and peace with my decision. There was no fear, no worry.”
Mari delivered MJ at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
After MJ was born, she still wasn’t out of the woods.
She required many treatments during her first few months of life.
I had hope and peace with my decision. There was no fear, no worry.”
She struggled with feeding, sometimes taking more than an hour to drink an ounce of milk, which meant the newborn needed to have a feeding tube for four weeks.
She also had breathing issues, which meant little MJ would need to be in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Kapiolani.
Then, at 6 months old, MJ had to travel to San Diego for open-heart surgery.
“We kept praying for her and kept our faith,” Mari says.
Now 8 years old, MJ continues to go to Kapiolani for rehabilitation therapy every week.
However, her mom says that she is a very happy and blessed child.
“We are very grateful to God for MJ. MJ is very friendly and very caring. She tries to talk and hug other patients, and lots of hospital staff and family friends agree that MJ is a very ‘aloha’ child filled with lots of love,” Mari says.
Lots of hospital staff and family friends agree that MJ is a very ‘aloha’ child filled with lots of love."
While they take life day by day, Mari reports that MJ is doing fine and credits her daughter’s disposition to the doctors, nurses and medical staff of Kapiolani.
“I don’t know what we would have done or where we would be without their tremendous support,” Mari says. “All of the therapists are very kind and friendly – we have lots of smiles together."
Published on: October 21, 2019