web-jett-and-oliver-durkin-When Jett’s parents found out that their sweet two-week-old baby definitely had Down syndrome, Mom was devastated. Between struggles with breastfeeding/weight gain and then the “doomsday” diagnosis, Mom cried through his first three weeks. From everything that they read, it was advised to let go of all the dreams that they didn’t even realize they had for their son.  But they just couldn’t! They couldn’t imagine giving up on his future before it even started.

WEB-durkinSo through lots of research, supplementation, home schooling/therapy and alternative therapies not covered by insurance or Medicaid, Jett started speaking at 8 months old and started reading at 17 months old. Here’s a video of him reading at 18 months old : And, at age 4, he is reading at a 5th grade level and is eagerly learning Japanese, French and Spanish! Here’s a video of Jett at 3 years old, reading a word in English, translating it to Japanese and then spelling the word using hiragana, the Japanese alphabet: 

Jett journey through healing has not been easy. He had heart surgery (full repair) at 6 months old and has spinal issues that have set him back in his gross and fine motor skills. Through alternative methods, Jett was finally able to stand and walk for the first time when he was 3 years old. Now, at 4.5 years old, he’d love to also be able to run, hop, jump and skip with the other children. And, even though Jett can spell 100s of words verbally, he is not yet able to write his name or tie his shoes. Jett is a hard worker and a motivated learner. 

Jett also has undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. He didn’t have a social smile until he was 21 months old! He didn’t have his first real laugh or have much eye contact until around that time as well. At 3.5 years old, when his mother was in the hospital for 3 weeks with his baby brother, Oliver, he didn’t even seem to miss her. At 4.5 years old, he has conquered all of his sensory issues (which were extensive) and all of his stimms except for his visual stimms which they are working on. He now volunteers hugs and says, “I love you!” with gusto. But, Jett’s social progress needs to continue. And he needs your help to make that happen.



Oliver Durkin was born at home and fast–the midwife only had time to put on her gloves to catch him! His Apgar score was a “10+,” but an hour later, Oliver stopped breathing for unknown reasons. His focused midwife worked hard to get him oxygenated and his heart pumping. The paramedics arrived and worked side by side with her until Oliver was transferred from one hospital to the next. There, they induced a coma that lasted 72 hours. During this time, his parents got no reassurances from the medical staff that Oliver would make it through. Although Oliver did suffer seizures and had subcutaneous hematomas, he survived! 

web-oliver-durkinHe was finally home 3 weeks later. But his parents soon noticed that although Oliver seemed socially and cognitively fine, he was very stiff and was not hitting any milestones. Through alternative therapies not covered by Medicaid, Oliver was finally able to have full range of motion in his head… and then 95% of the stiffness disappeared which reset him to newborn status… and then he was able to roll over… and then able to roll all over! Here’s a video of Oliver at 13 months, starting to army crawl! With all this progress, he has not yet met the milestones of a 6 month old. Since the video, he’s moved forward several inches on his own, but he needs expert assistance to grow those few inches into huge strides. 

Oliver has some feeding issues as well. At almost 14 months old, he is only able to eat a very small bowl of food in addition to breast milk. He also has not grown in 4 months, a problem that needs to be addressed.

A major issue that is impeding his progress is PTSD. Oliver has not emotionally recovered from his NICU stay. He cries/screams if he is not held. He will not sleep alone. In fact, he will not sleep by himself during the day and has barely napped since he was 3 months old. (He slept for 2 months straight after he came home from the NICU.) At 13 months old, he can now have peaceful sleep about an inch away from his mother. His therapist says that his PTSD needs to be addressed before he can continue to progress–all this takes money…

Please help Oliver and Jett on their journey to reach their goals by donating today!

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