Diagnosed with Trisomy 13 in the womb, Victory Downey inherited a fighting spirit from her parents.
Doctors predicted that the now 3-year-old girl would not live past her first birthday, and several told her parents “very forcefully” to have an abortion, Live Action News reports.
But Brian and Corrine Downey fought for their daughter’s life, refusing to believe the constant negative comments that Victory would only suffer and be a burden. They persistently advocated for her medical care, too, when hospital physicians refused to provide her with life-saving medical care because of her disability, according to the report.
“We were told she would not make it to her first birthday, never know us as her mom and dad, never know her brother, never experience joy, laugh, smile or show any emotion at all, that she would never grow, get strong or even hit any milestones,” Brian Downey told Live Action. “We were told she would be a burden on not only us but her big brother also.”
The Downeys said they received little support or hope from the medical community until they found Dr. Adam Urato — “the only one who gave our daughter a chance.”
Other doctors had told the family that they would not provide life-saving care to Victory if there were complications when she was born, and some pressured them to abort their daughter.
“Almost every hospital we went to told us that if there were to be any complications at all during Victory’s birth, they would not provide her with life-saving interventions simply because she has Trisomy 13,” Downey told Live Action. “They would only offer ‘comfort care,’ which is just keeping her comfortable as she passes away. In addition to this, there were several doctors who would very forcefully tell us to have an abortion.”
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Urato was different. The family said he respected their daughter’s life and their wishes for her medical care, and created a plan for her medical treatment at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Victory was born on July 19, 2019, and immediately taken to the neonatal intensive care unit at Boston Children’s Hospital, according to the family’s Facebook page. For six months, she lived at the hospital, fighting through open heart surgery and other complications, and receiving a tracheostomy and feeding tube, the family said.
Victory has many physical, mental and medical challenges, and she has survived 11 surgeries thus far. But her parents said she is a joyful little girl who knows her family loves her.
“She has the most beautiful smile we have ever seen, and her laugh is the most contagious we’ve ever heard,” her father said.
The Downeys expressed their gratitude to Urato and the Boston Children’s Hospital team for providing their daughter with the care that she deserves.
“Some children with Trisomy 13 are denied these surgeries solely based on their diagnosis. But thanks to Boston Children’s Hospital, Victory was given the chance to live,” her father said. “She has overcome so much already in just the three years that she’s been alive! She is thriving! Her life and her story will be able to touch millions because her life is our miracle and she is our victory.”