Life has a funny way of showing you signs, and on that fateful Saturday, January 6th, it became abundantly clear. As Kay and I headed to her beloved music class, an unexpected detour led us down a path we never anticipated. Little did I know, this deviation would soon become a pivotal moment in our lives.


While driving to our destination, I took a different route than usual, ending up at a totally different exit. At a red light off the freeway, I noticed a car quickly approaching behind me. I knew they wouldn’t be able to stop in time, and seconds later, the car collided with ours, pushing me into the car in front. Fortunately, Kay seemed unfazed as I quickly checked on her.


All three cars pulled over, exchanging information, and I called 911 for paramedics and police to respond. Despite Kay appearing okay, my concern arose due to her inability to communicate any potential injuries. This worry intensified considering the health factors associated with Down Syndrome, particularly related to Kay’s neck.


Babies with Down Syndrome are recommended to undergo a neck X-ray at the age of 3 due to Atlanto-axial instability (AAI), a condition affecting the upper spine. This laxity in the joint under the skull can restrict certain activities for safety reasons. With this in mind, I opted to have Kay transported to the same children’s hospital where she was born, taking an ambulance ride for caution.


At the hospital, the challenge arose in getting a toddler to stand still for neck X-rays. The X-ray tech, understanding the predicament, used Kay’s favorite YouTube video, “Wheels On The Bus,” to keep her attention. Fortunately, they obtained the necessary pictures, revealing no signs of AAI – great news!


After a quick discharge with instructions to follow up with Kay’s primary care doctor, we did just that, and she’s doing fine. Cars can be replaced, but I’m grateful that Kay and I are alright. Everything happens for a reason, and perhaps there’s a bigger purpose in this experience that I’m yet to see.

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