Donna KirkWelcome to donnakirk.com

Our son Matthew was born in 1970 in Oakville, Ontario. He suffered oxygen loss during his birth which resulted in severe brain damage. He was transferred to Sick Kids Hospital the next day where a doctor declared him to be “a vegetable with a heartbeat.” This doctor advised my husband, Ed, and me to institutionalize Matthew and have another baby as soon as possible.

We ignored this offensive pronouncement and brought our baby home.

Two years later, Matthew swam on national television. He had learned to swim underwater to the edge of the pool and, still unassisted, pull himself out and sit on the deck.

This blog is all about what happened in between Matthew’s devastating diagnosis and his successful life as a respected, contributing member of society.

It’s about how his siblings, Kelley and Joseph, and my husband and I supported Matthew through life-threatening situations and dangerous mental health problems.

It’s about our struggle to overcome adversity and find the best help.

Through the blog, I hope to bring other families and friends together to share their experiences. Their insight and suggestions will definitely be helpful to others.

By forming a circle of support, parents, siblings, and advocates can make life meaningful and rewarding for people with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness.