Some Awesome People

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Her perfect boy

A Florida mother shows what real love is when she cares for a child with Trisomy 18
Lane DeGregory | October 2013

Every afternoon about 4 p.m., Karen Heaton walks through her house, out the back door, and stands at the top of the wheelchair ramp.

By then Heaton, 63, has bagged all the dirty diapers, spread new changing pads across the sheets and smoothed the blankets on the king bed she shares with her son. She has cleaned his back-up feeding tube, sterilized the syringes, charted a cabinet full of medications. She has washed the clothes, vacuumed and propped body pillows around the gym mat that fills her living room floor.

Donnie's school bus isn't due until 4:30. But his mom is always early. When the bus rumbles down the alley, Heaton hurries to greet it. As soon as an aide lowers her son's wheelchair to the ground, she starts singing, "I love you, you love me …" He lifts his head and grins. Heaton keeps singing, "We're a happy family."

Donnie is 20. He can't walk or talk, eat or drink, sit up or even turn over. She calls him her perfect boy. (...)

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