Monday, May 17, 2010

Prom is a triumph for Diamond

Prom is a triumph for Diamond

This moment, a dream for teens everywhere, was especially triumphant for Diamond.

She's struggled with Williams syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes medical and developmental problems, all her life.

“She's been through a lot, more than you could ever imagine,” said her mother, Barbara Ellison of Hikes Point. “Her being here is a blessing.”

Williams syndrome occurs once in every 10,000 births and is caused by the deletion of a certain region of chromosomes. It often causes a narrowing of the heart and blood vessels, muscle and bone problems and some degree of intellectual disability.

Barbara Ellison said tests suggest that Diamond's condition is more severe than most.

At 10 months old, she had open-heart surgery. As a baby, she had chronic urinary tract infections and asthma.

She can't read or write, and she needs constant supervision.

For Diamond, the particulars of her condition are abstractions, hard to grasp and remember.

She does know that somehow, her body fails her.

“My heart,” Diamond said, patting her chest. “It keeps hurting every single day.”

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