By Ralphine Major
As their two-week old baby was wheeled away to surgery, his parents pondered all that had happened. In a span of thirty minutes, Rachael and Drew Cope were told that their baby had a blockage, he was being prepped for surgery, and the results of the genetic testing showed he had a rare genetic disorder called Trisomy 9—a big name for one so small. “We called in our immediate families and broke the news to them,” the first-time parents told me.
Drew and Rachael waited fourteen days as additional tests were sent off to find out more. “During the wait, we were told to prepare that Jaxson would most likely be severely disabled if he even survived at all because Trisomy 9 is considered ‘incompatible with life’ and babies do not survive a Full Trisomy 9,” Rachael said. “It is the Partial Duplications and Mosaic Duplications of Trisomy 9 that people are able to live with; but even then, it is so rare. We were fully preparing for the worst and solely relying on God to keep us going,” she added. The tiny baby was put on numerous prayer lists that spanned the country as his family waited and prayed.
Finally, the second set of test results came back and revealed that only some of the cells were affected. Medical technology calls it a Partial Trisomy 9q. Rachael and Drew call it a miracle. “This has been not only a blessing but a lesson in faith,” Drew said. As I think of these young parents—so strong in their faith—I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV). As the Cope family’s story raises awareness of chromosome disorders, may it also strengthen the faith of all who read it that the Creator of the universe held the life of a tiny baby born at Christmas in the palm of His hand. That should give hope to all believers.