A Banchory mother whose daughter was born with a rare syndrome is hoping to raise awareness of her condition.
Judy Robertson’s daughter Hannah Gordon, nine, was born with Turner Syndrome - the only girl in the UK born with it in 2002.
Turner syndrome (TS) is a chromosome abnormality affecting only females, caused by the complete or partial deletion of the X-chromosome. Girls and women who have Turner syndrome often have a wide range of different medical symptoms and characteristics. However, there are two characteristics that occur in almost all cases of Turner syndrome - being shorter than average in height and a lack of development of the ovaries, leading to infertility.
When Judy, 29, was expecting Hannah, the sonographer discovered an problem at her 12 week scan and a later test revealed her baby daughter had TS.
“The doctor explained it a bit and they said that it was very likely that in a few more weeks I would miscarry and that even if I didn’t, the baby wouldn’t have much of a life,” said Judy, who works at Banchory Community Centre Playgroup. “They then offered me an abortion. We decided we would let her decide her own fate and two weeks before my due date, I gave birth to my gorgeous girl, Hannah.
“She beat the odds, as only 2% of Turners girls make it past pregnancy. She is our miracle - a true fighter.”
Hannah, who also has older brother Logan, 12, doesnt grow at the normal rate of children her age and since she was four, has been taking a growth hormone.
“They say she is doing so well with it and that she is taller than most girls of her age with the condition,” said Judy, of Deeview Road, Banchory. “Turner syndrome is a condition that only affects girls and only one in every 2,500 girls have TS.”
“Hannah was the only girl born with TS in the UK in 2002,” said Judy. “Some girls are unaware they even have it until they are a teenager, when they wonder why they haven’t started changing, as with TS, they do not produce eggs and are born without ovaries, so Hannah can’t have children.
“I have considered freezing eggs for her, to give her the option of having children when she is older, but there are other routes she can take.
“She was born with two kidneys, but one shrivelled up, so she now only has one and we take extra care in what she eats to prevent any damage to it.
Judy said heart and hearing problems were associated with the syndrome but so far, Hannah was fine.
“She has to have regular checks on her kidney and heart and gets bloods taken,” said Judy. “As she gets older, she can develop a list of things that come with the condition but so far she has been a trouper and proved them all wrong.
“I want to share her story, as TS is a condition so rare that most people have never heard about it before. Me and a heap of families touched by Turners that I know through Facebook are on a mission to spread awareness and possibly help save people from making the mistake of aborting a baby that DOES have a good quality of life. “Hannah is now nine and attends Banchory Primary School. She excels at school, attends the local hip hop school and has even started playing the violin - we are so proud of her.
“Next year, we are looking at trying to organise an event in Banchory to raise funds for Turner Syndrome Support Society and would love and appreciate any suggestions or help from the community.”