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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In Loving Andrew, Romy Wyllie tells the story of her Down syndrome son, Andrew James Wyllie, and also stories about Lindsay Yeager and Blair Rodriguez; both with the same condition. It is not only about how Romy and her family face the challenges of raising a Down syndrome child, but the joy and life lessons that he bestowed upon them.
I never knew that a person with Down syndrome could be affected by mental illness, such as paranoid schizophrenia in Andrew’s case. This revelation is quite a surprise for me due to my lack of knowledge in this matter. Reading about the public and the medical community’s reception in the late fifties towards Down syndrome is informative; I’m glad that society is more knowledgeable about Down syndrome although the lack of understanding regarding the disabled people still lingers today.
My mother is a retired nurse for almost 15 years now, and I clearly remembered what she said about Down syndrome children, “It is sad that their life span is shorter than us.” I’m glad to know that Andrew lived until he was fifty-two, although it was hard to read about his decline from a high-functioning man with Down syndrome, to a man who had to battle paranoid schizophrenia and Alzheimer's in his last years.
I truly appreciate that Romy Wyllie shares her story about Andrew with the rest of the world. Loving Andrew is an eloquently written book and definitely a helpful guide as well as inspiration for everyone, especially parents with disabled children.