Kimberly White/Getty Images for U.S. Fund for UNICEF(SAN FRANCISCO) — One NFL player is opening up about his family’s personal struggle in an inspiring blog post that’s going viral.
Torrey Smith, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, revealed in a touching blog that the baby his wife Chanel is carrying is facing complications. The Smiths are already parents to a 1-year-old son, Torrey “TJ” Smith.
He wrote in a post titled “Prayers Up” that doctors told him and his pregnant wife that their baby — whom they’ve already named Kameron — had a “high risk” of having Trisomy 18.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Trisomy 18 is a genetic disorder, also known as Edwards syndrome, that results in early death, severe developmental delays and physical malformations. The disorder occurs in roughly one in 5,000 U.S. children.
Smith, 27, wrote that his wife “was struggling handling it all at first, but later on it all changed. I noticed this strength about her that I had only seen one time before; the same strength she displayed throughout TJ’s birth process. She proved that she could handle anything.”
The Colonial Beach, Virginia, native said that because of Chanel’s newfound strength they “were able to talk about what we would do with this situation knowing that her life, as well as the baby’s, could be at risk. …What do you do? Do you go forward knowing the outcome will be a miscarriage or death shortly after birth all while putting your life in danger? Or do you terminate the pregnancy?”
He continued: “Being in this situation has changed the way I view everything about it. I realized I have no right to suggest to her what she should do. I can talk about the pros and cons of each, or maybe even make suggestions, but I couldn’t pressure her one way or the other.”
Then the Smiths got good news.
“Thankfully, we don’t have to make that decision because the results came back that he does not have Trisomy 18,” Smith wrote, noting that his child will likely have “more issues.”
“We have been talking about what else it could be and have been preparing for whatever results lie ahead. I’m not worried about it a single bit! I always believed that it takes special parents to provide and show love to a kid with special needs,” he wrote. “I do know that we are ready for whatever may come and my wife is leading the way.”
He added: “Now we are praying that our little fighter continues to grow and we can meet him. I’m praying for life, not for his health. A disability doesn’t make you unhealthy; it just means you may have different challenges. We all have challenges, and we are ready for ours that will soon come. Prayers Up for Kameron!”
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