terça-feira, 27 de maio de 2008

Mulher com Trissomia 21 já atingiu os 73 anos (em inglês)

When Mary Perry was born with Down syndrome in the 1930s, people with the disability typically didn't live past age 9.
At 73, the McMinnville woman has managed to outlive all but one of her eightbrothers and sisters. She is one of the oldest living people with Down syndrome.
"She beat the odds," said Dr. Karen Summar, a developmental pediatrician at Vanderbilt children's hospital. "It's incredible."
The 2007 Guinness Book of World Records lists the oldest living woman with Down syndrome as Nancy Siddoway, of Utah, who was born on Aug. 18, 1937, and the oldest living man with Down syndrome as Keith Roberts, who was born in South Africa on June 6, 1953. Perry was born on June 9, 1934.
Dale Perry attributes his aunt's old age to her strong will.
The way her relatives tell it, in Mary's youth she could run "like a jackrabbit." She cleaned house. She "took care of her own bathing."
All of that changed for Mary Perry in adulthood, when her mother fell and broke her hip. From that day on, "Mary couldn't walk no more," said Jackie Perry, who met Mary Perry in 1956and went on to marry her brother.
The doctors never could find anything wrong with her legs, and she has spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
"It was one of those mind things," Jackie Perry said. "After she quit walking, she would say, 'I'm my momma's baby girl.' "
Dale Perry said his aunt "willed herself" to never walk again and he believes she tapped into that same strong will to live as long as she has.
Life span jumps to 55
While Perry's longevity is extraordinary, medical advances that have occurred since the 1980s have dramatically increased the life span of people with Down syndrome.
"In the future, it won't be so remarkable," Summar said. "This will become more routine, instead of the exception."
Down syndrome, caused by a chromosomal abnormality, causesmental disabilitiesand a host of medical conditions, including heart and respiratory problems. When Mary Perry was born, medical treatment either didn't exist or was not offered to this population.
Today, many of the medical conditions associated with Down syndrome can be treated. As a result, people with Down syndrome have an average life span of about 55, compared with roughly 25 in the 1980s.
"When Mary was born, they didn't have effective treatment," said Dr. Kuang-Tzu Lin, a physician specialist at Clover Bottom Developmental Center, a state-run home for people with disabilities in Nashville. "They were not too eager to pursue available treatment because there was no cure. People's concept is much different now."
Summar said the increasing life span has huge policy implications.
"There are going to be more and more people with Down syndrome living to this ripe old age," she said. "They will outlive their parents. Who will take care of them when their parents pass on? We've got to be thinking of what's ahead."

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