The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
[email protected] 

You Should Have Named Her "Angel"
Our little Hero
Our little Hero
You Should Have Named Her "Angel"

When I became pregnant with our third daughter, although I was of advanced maternal age (36) I had no intention of doing the suggested prenatal testing for Down syndrome. We did have the level two ultrasound, but only so we could get a glimpse of our baby and find out her gender. We were all very excited to welcome her and all testing proved that she was fine, no signs of Down syndrome or any other flags for other abnormalities. At 28 weeks along, my husband and I went on a bike ride and our world was changed forever. I began to feel dizzy so I started to slow down when something in my abdomen felt like it unzipped. I immediately fell to the ground and told my husband to call 911. I was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. They did a quick assessment of me and I could tell something was horribly wrong. They could not find a heartbeat on my daughter Josie and I was not doing well at all. They took me into surgery immediately for a C-section. I started to feel cold and was in and out of consciousness. I woke up two days later in the ICU unit. Many doctors came in to see me and speak to me. The first thing I saw was a pink sign hanging near my bed that read, "It’s a girl!" 2 lbs 13 oz, 15 inches long. I was so relieved that we both made it through. I later learned that I suffered a rupture of an arterial splenic aneurysm. I was transfused over 46 units of blood. I lost my spleen, part of my pancreas and part of my colon. This was extremely rare and has a very high fatality rate among mother and child. We found out four days later that our little girl had Down syndrome. It didn't matter to us; we were just so happy that we were both still here. Josie spent the next three months at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis getting bigger and stronger. One surgeon in particular came in to tell us that when they did the C-section, Josie was lying on my Aorta, which is what ultimately saved my life. Her little body was slowing down the bleeding inside me. He said, “We all agree, you should have named her Angel, she saved your life.” Today, Josie is a happy healthy six-year-old who brightens our world every day and brings smiles to so many. She was meant to be here with us, and we are thankful every day for our little Angel!

Vote for your favorite story! Each month, the two stories with the most votes will be featured in the NDSS E-Newsletter.*


Your email address will be used for voter tracking only, and will not be used for future NDSS emails.
Click here to become a fan on Facebook.
Click here to follow us on Twitter.

*Votes will be reset at the end of each month.

Full Name
Comments (1,000 character limit)

albert robbins, United States, MA
6/13/2013 12:23:07 PM
I loved your story and happy for your recovery and most of all that you too have the privilidge of haveing one of God's beautiful angels in your life! My angels name is Rebecca and I love her more than I could ever describe. She puts a smile on my face countlessly and when she hugs and gives me a kiss I truely feel the love in her prescious heart that she has for me.I'm happy for the both of us that these angels are ours and Gods.

Mary Lynn Walters, United States, AZ
6/3/2013 12:35:39 PM
This is a beautiful story about one of the "miracles" that children with Down Syndrome can bring into our lives. My 20-year-old granddaughter, a beautiful young woman with Down, is graduating next week from high school and last month was selected as the Cowgirl Prom Queen. she has brought so much love and joy to our family. God bless all these special people and the families that nurture them.

kelly brahs, United States, MN
5/23/2013 8:21:26 AM
God bless your family and your little angel

Stacy, United States, MN
5/18/2013 9:30:41 AM
Josie is an amazing Angel. What an amazing story. God sends in our time of need. Not only did God send you an angel he gave you an Angel you can love and nurtrure for the rest of your life. We are blessed to know all of you... Thanks for sharing your story. Stacy Mike Lindsay and Landon

Dawn Swanson, United States, MN
5/16/2013 8:38:49 AM
What an awesome story!

michelle reimer, United States, MN
5/16/2013 1:31:54 AM
I love you all with all my heart. What a wonderful story with such a blessed and happy ending.

Debra kivisto, United States, MN
5/15/2013 11:02:16 PM
what a little angel

Megan brandt, United States, MN
5/15/2013 10:57:25 PM
This is an amazing story and a great family.

Amy, United States, MN
5/15/2013 10:43:28 PM

Christina Lickmann , United States, PA
5/15/2013 3:34:14 PM
Beautiful mom. Beautiful daughter.

Katie Dvorak, United States, MN
5/15/2013 1:46:11 AM
love you :)

frank zelenak, United States, MN
5/12/2013 8:26:33 AM
Love you Kater and JoJo, Happy Mothers Day to you and all my GIRLS-Love you All- PAPAghesAe

Anna bussie, United States, MN
5/12/2013 8:24:29 AM

Jamie Marie Walters, United States, NV
5/12/2013 8:04:36 AM
Love you guys I'll vote everyday :)

Misty Barnier, United States, MN
5/11/2013 9:40:07 PM
I absolutely love this story! Xoxo Cathy and Josie.

Tammy St.Sauver, United States, MN
5/11/2013 9:17:03 PM
Beautifully written. Cathy is a wonderful mom to a sweet little angel.

carol theis, United States, FL
5/11/2013 9:00:35 PM
Cathy is an inspiration...Josie is a gift. So happy they are part of my life.

janet banker, United States, MN
5/11/2013 7:57:14 PM
Josie is my niece, she has brought so much joy to our family, I cannot imagine life with out you miss J...Auntie Janet

jennifer bates, United States, MN
5/9/2013 10:06:46 PM
We love this little angel with all our hearts! Beautiful!

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors