Wigan family share experiences of having a child with Down's syndrome in new book in a bid to help others

A Wigan family has shared their experiences of having a child with Down’s syndrome in a bid to help other parents.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 10:28 am
Oscar with his dad Bryn

Victoria Morrissey and Bryn Rimmer, along with their sons Oscar, seven, and Rio, four, appear in Wouldn’t Change A Thing, a book by a campaign group of the same name that works to change perceptions of the condition.

Westfield Community School pupil Oscar has Down’s syndrome and has previously appeared in videos produced by the campaign.

Mum Victoria, from Pemberton, said: “The videos are brilliant but they are very short-lived, once it’s done it’s done.

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Oscar with his mum Victoria Morrissey and brother Rio

“The book has such a powerful message and it’s going to be for new parents. It’s absolutely beautiful. There’s not lots of jargon, it’s just pictures, quotes and it purely shows the experience. It is what it is.

“We are hoping to get it to all maternity units and in the hands of parents-to-be.”

Photographs of the family at Mesnes Park appear in the book, showing a typical day out.

They were taken by volunteer Claire-May Minett, who has Mosaic Down’s syndrome.

“It was such a nice experience,” Victoria said.

The book shares the experiences of real people with Down’s syndrome and their families.

It aims to dispel the fears that new and expectant parents can have when their child is diagnosed with the condition.

It is hoped the book, which was published in partnership with the Australian Celebrate T21 network, will be made available on maternity wards around the UK.

Victoria, 38, hopes that by sharing their story in the book, they will be able to help other parents.

She said: “We are still saying we wouldn’t change a thing. With Oscar there’s nothing he cannot do. It might take him a little longer to do it, but he doesn’t give up and doesn’t give in easily and he will do it. It is showing that our children are no different to anybody else’s children.

“The fear that comes to new parents straight away is taken away with this book.”

Wouldn’t Change A Thing is a parent-led organisation that aims to change negative perceptions of the capabilities and quality of life of people with Down’s syndrome and their families.

It was sparked by the success of a fun video for World Down Syndrome Day, featuring 50 mums and their children, which went viral and clocked up more than 350m views worldwide.

It has since done several viral campaigns, including two videos featuring Oscar using Makaton sign language - one to Michael Buble’s All I Want For Christmas and another for World Book Day telling the story of The Snail And The Whale.

‘The book has such a powerful message. There’s not lots of jargon, it’s just pictures, quotes and it purely shows the experience’