Heather was born on 16 June 1998. She has a twin brother named Jeffrey. She also has two other sisters and one other brother.(Kim/19, Caroline/13, Johnny/11) She actually did better at first than he. After being born, he immediately contracted pneumonia. When she was born she had all the classic signs of RTS. But no one knew or suspected anything. He mother did have her suspicions all along that Heather was different. Eventually at 9 months of age she was "diagnosed". The Doctor gave us a paper that said she had RTS, and that was it. I was wondering why the nurses kept asking us if we were all right. Apparently they had a better briefing than we did. When I got home, I found the RTS website, Shortly thereafter I had a good cry. When I composed myself, I then told my wife about what I had learned. So we have been on a great adventure ever since. My only regret is that I feel the Doctor could have been up front with us.

Heather is the happiest child you could ever meet. If she is crying, there is definitely something wrong. Her favorite thing in the world is SpongeBob Squarepants. We have his movies, cartoon videos and watch Nickelodeon on a daily basis. Not to mention all the SpongeBob accessories that we have. She also enjoys watching COPS and anything at all about childbirth and small babies. She loves playing with her baby dolls. She is very compassionate, and will console you on your worst day. She is definitely a Mothers Girl. If her mother is gone, she will ask about her several times. Not that she misses her, but she wants you to know how important her mother is to her.

Heather did not learn to walk until she was 2 years old. She can not speak as of yet, she has a vocabulary of a few spoken words. So we hope that there is more to come. She has a tremendous vocabulary of sign language. But she will not sign to you unless you sign to her. Her mother has taught her all that she knows about sign language. Where we live the education system is woefully unequipped to deal with Heather. I do believe if they were more concerned they could do a better job. Teaching is a profession that some should carefully consider before beginning! Heather is almost finished with her 2nd year of kindergarten. We are uncertain of what our next step is, please drop us a line as to your opinion. We are considering homeschool

Heather is very independent. Nothing can stop this young lady. Although my social circle is very small, Heather knows "everyone" in our neighborhood. It seems as if everytime I go out with Heather, I meet someone new. Mind you Heather is 7 years old, I am 39!

Heather has had several medical challenges in her life. She has had constant ear problems. During one surgery, half of her face was paralyzed by the Dr. He apparently has damaged the facial nerve. At first we were led to believe that it would correct itself. As of recently another surgeon has told us that it will be permanent. She also has a serious problem with constipation. Once she was even hospitalized for it. We have a pool, this greatly helps with the constipation. The swimming is also great for her general muscle tone. Heather loves to swim. She has Physical, occupational, and speech therapy every week. We also have a CAP worker who works in the home with her on a daily basis. The CAP worker now is our oldest daughter. When she married and moved away, the job became available. Before that Heather had a college student named Chrissy. Chrissy is now a social worker, but her and Heather are the best of friends. They occasionally go shopping and out to eat together.

As I close, I would like to Thank All involved with this website. To include those who have told their story, We have learned so much from this site.

johnswatkins@msn.com