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‘My Daughter is My Motivation’

Published:Saturday | May 23, 2015 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey
Mommy daughter love, Barbara Witter and Kimora Jones .

Mandeville, Manchester:

It is said that the energy between identical twins is so strong that pain and joy felt by one can, be felt by the other. The same can be said about a mother and her child as several continue to attest to this.

Barbara Witter, a mother of two, was just as excited about her second child as she was her first. She did all she needed to do to have a safe delivery and a healthy baby, though her condition stood tall in her mind.

"I had fibroids when I was pregnant, and it was very bad. When I gave birth to Kimora, enough oxygen didn't go to her brain and I knew there could be a possible problem down the line."

At the age of two, Witter became very much worried that Kimora's drooling persisted and several other skills a two-year-old should develop were delayed.

"The paediatrician kept telling me that I shouldn't worry and things would change eventually. I explained to her that Kimora is slow in everything and something is just not right. She then referred me to a neurologist who, after an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), told me there was irreparable damage to the brain and made a diagnosis of corpus callosum hypoplasia with septo optic dysplasia syndrome."

She continued, "To this day, I am still confused about the condition. When the doctor sat there explaining to me - separate and apart from the medical terms I did not get - I just sat staring in space because I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I know the condition causes her speech impairment and her vision problem, as she can only see properly from one eye and sees only from a side view with the other eye."

Now seven years old, Kimora knows she has a condition and embraces it, trying to make every day count.

"I feel everything she feels: her joys, her sorrow, and we are each other's motivation. Some days she motivates me more. When she sees that I am down, she will just come and kiss me and say, 'Mommy, I love you', and it just warms my heart. I know sometimes she doesn't like to talk around others because of her speech impairment. Other children may laugh even when she tries to say her name. I just tell her that if she has a problem saying things fully, say it simpler, so if you can't say Kimora, say Kimmy.

"Some of our best times are mommy-daughter games and dress-up sessions. She loves girly things and her pockets are always filled with lip gloss and make-up. It makes her happy, and when she's happy, I'm happy," Witter stated laughingly.

Having started school at three years old, Witter feels Kimora is at a place conducive to her development.

"She has great potential and, though her situation may not change, I believe she can still do great things. Seeing other children around her doing well pushes her. She says that in the future she wants to be a paediatrician to help other children. She is persistent and doesn't stop doing something until it is perfect. I just want her to be happy and to be able to fit in a little more."

She ended: "I'm not going to give up on her, and neither should any parent who has a child with a challenge. Love them, because if you don't, no one else will."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com