BVI News

My son with Down syndrome made me a better person

Contributed photo of a younger Shamario Patrick with his grandmother (left) and mother.

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Despite suffering from Down syndrome, 11-year-old Shamario Patrick hopes to one day become a preacher of the gospel.

“Sometimes he takes the brush or the comb and uses it as a microphone and stands in front of the mirror and preach,” his mother, Bridgette Patrick of St Vincent told BVI News.

Down syndrome is a disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of what is known as ‘chromosome 21’. Persons suffering from it has growth delays and varying levels of intellectual disabilities.

Mrs Patrick, who is as a resident of Greenland on Tortola, said her child was not only born with this disorder but was also born with a hole in his heart. She was told that it was very likely that his condition would prevent him from doing many things such as walking.

“She said to me that something is wrong with him,” said Mrs Patrick referring to a local doctor whom she had her regular visits with during her pregnancy.

“But, I didn’t believe in them much because God has the last say.”

And when her unborn son was diagnosed with Down syndrome, Mrs Patrick said: “I cried”.

She said tears flowed freely because Shamario was not going to be a normal child.

“I wasn’t 100 percent happy, but I was happy he was alive. I love my son the way he is,” she said.

Shamario’s surgery

Shamario spent his formative years in St Vincent with his maternal grandmother.

In 2011 at the tender age of three, he underwent heart surgery in the United States.

Photo provided

Presently, he is a student at the Eslyn Henley Richez Learning Centre. He enjoys basketball and he finds pleasure in playing his drums and guitar.

Mrs Patrick describes him as a loving and friendly young man who is very technologically savvy.

At age nine, he was able to properly bathe himself and perform simple tasks. He is now able to make his own sandwiches, wash dishes and perform simple chores around the house.

Besides having two older daughters, Patrick said Shamario made her a more patient and better person.

Advice to parents

Asked if she had any words of advice to other mothers who have children suffering from Down syndrome, she said: “Give them lots of love”.

“Don’t treat them differently than your other children because when God loves us, he loves us the same.”

In the meantime, Patrick said she is willing to provide a solid education for her son who she hopes will one day find love and live his best life.

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  1. Beautiful says:

    Thank you BVI News for sharing this story. It is very heartwarming! I encourage us all to be loving, open and kind to everyone. We are all talented in our own way. Blessings to this family! God is awesome!!!!!!

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  2. Guy Hill says:

    God bless him and you to Bridgett. Be bless. Be Brave.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  3. He will shine says:

    Blessings and thanks for sharing your story. So many of us parents like to keep our children’s situation as ‘our own business’ but special needs is an issue where one parent helps another to stay strong and chart the course of life with their kids. I have lived it and pushed, pushed and pushed with and for my own child. Once the parents make the biggest steps, education and other agencies will be forced to step up.

    He will preach, and he will be who he was placed here on this earth to become.

  4. Optimist says:

    Thank you Mrs. Patrick for sharing your story and your experience. It is so refreshing to finally read a positive news article in the Virgin Islands, BR. Continue to encourage your son to be the best he can be.

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