SANFORD, Fla. — A gut-wrenching letter written by the mother of a now 15-month daughter who was diagnosed with Down syndrome has gone viral as she shares her heart with the prenatal specialist who urged her to have an abortion.
Courtney Willams Baker of Sanford, Florida told ABC News this week that it took her over a year to write what had been on her heart—a message about the value of life that she wanted to convey even before her baby had been born. At the end of May, she sat down and wrote the letter and carried her daughter out to the mailbox to send off a note to the man who thought her life wouldn’t be worth living.
“I came to you at the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you,” Williams Baker wrote. “But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we abort our child.”
“I told you her name and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome,” she recalled. “You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy. … The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth: My child was perfect.”
Williams Baker said that she does not hold bitterness against the doctor, but is saddened by his low view of human life.
“I’m sad that the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad that the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears, don’t always give you pause,” she wrote. “I’m sad that you were so very wrong to say that a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken that you might have said that to a mommy even today.”
She conveyed that her daughter is not a burden as the doctor suggested she might be, but rather a great blessing.
“Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands,” Williams Baker wrote. “She’s given us a purpose and a joy that is impossible to express. She’s given us bigger smiles, more laughter, and sweeter kisses than we’ve ever known. She’s opened our eyes to true beauty and pure love.”
She said that she hoped he would counsel women differently in the future.
“[M]y prayer is that no other mommy will ever have to go through what I did,” Williams Baker stated. “My prayer is that you, too, will now see true beauty and pure love with every life displayed on every sonogram. And my prayer is when you see that next baby with Down syndrome lovingly tucked in her mother’s womb, you will look at that mommy and see me, then tell her the truth: ‘Your child is absolutely perfect.’”
She told ABC News this week that she hopes the letter serves as a catalyst for change.
“I have no idea how the doctor might have reacted to my letter, but I do have faith that God can work any miracle and he can change any heart,” Williams Baker said. “Emmy is proof that children with special needs are worthy and can change the world. She’s doing it right now.”