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  • Writer's pictureDavid Stanley

The Stories Behind the Babies 6: Sam

In June 2020 The Music Man Project released a video for my new song 'Have You Ever Stopped to Think'. It featured beautiful photographs of our musicians as babies. In this series of blogs, I delve behind the pictures to reveal the stories behind the babies...

Here is Sam's story, told by her mum...

Sam was born with congenital heart disease with pulmonary hypertension. She often went blue and was very low in energy. At the Royal Brompton Hospital, they said nothing could be done as she may not survive an operation. We lived under this shadow for 10 years until an investigation by the Daily Mail uncovered that people with Down Syndrome were being discriminated against when it came to corrective surgery. As we belonged to the Downs Heart Group, we were alerted and took the accusations to the consultants at Royal Brompton. Miraculously Sam was put forward for open heart surgery and it was performed by the famous heart surgeon Professor Magdee Yacoub (a personal friend of Princess Diane - only the best for our Sam!). The surgery was a success, apart from Sam having a leaky valve which has to be monitored. 20 years on she is here and full of life!

Throughout all this her dad was ill with cancer, having been diagnosed when Sam was a baby. I think John kept going for Sam, our foster babies and all of us. He died when Sam was 10, just before her heart operation. She was a great comfort to him and used to sit on his bed with him to listen to his stories. She has since been a great source of comfort and love to us all. She was definitely sent to us for a reason. In all these years she has been a little treasure.

Although heart-breaking, Sam’s take on everything made us smile. At the funeral we recited the Lord's Prayer. As we began “Our Father”, Sam piped up in the silence and said, '”Yes, my dad”. Then for “who art in Heaven” she said, “Yes, that's where my daddy lives now”. “Hallowed be thy name” - Sam said with a smile “It’s John”. When we got to the “In Jesus Christ's name” she said, “Oh Yes! He's the man looking after my daddy!”.

Although it was a solemn occasion, I noticed smiles through the tears. That was Sam's take on it and it kind of made sense in her funny little way…

Watch Sam in 'Have You Ever Stopped to Think?'

And in a national TV advert!

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