Nathanael’s ABS Story

Nathanael was born on April 12, 1997 in Hong Kong at Prince of Wales Hospital.. At birth he presented with several issues, some of which were a missing right big toe and partial remaining toes; right club foot; intestines on the outside of his body and syndactly of his hands on both sides except his left thumb.

He lived at Prince of Wales until 14 months of age–an initial hand surgery and his clubfoot and abdominal repair surgeries were done then (the abdominal surgery was done at 1 day of age). At 14 months of age he went to live in a small group home where he was until we adopted him in February 2001 when he was 3 yrs and 10 months of age.

Nathanael is an amazing child who has endured 10 surgeries in his short time on this earth–all of them were done in Hong Kong… He is very smart–when he came home he was fluent in Cantonese and English and conversational in Swedish… He’s “lost” the Swedish and Cantonese but we hope one day he can take classes again to pick one or both up.. He could count to 100 in both languages by 2-1/2 yrs of age and could answer questions in the opposite language he was being asked the question in. Nathanael has a photographic memory and is extremely smart–we homeschool him and, as a first grader, he’s already reading 3rd-4th grade level books…

It wasn’t until this month (Oct. 2003) that we learned all his issues were due to ABS–he had an appt. with a pediatric geneticist who reviewed all the material we were able to get from Hong Kong, as well as from various appointments here in the states, and after a very thorough examination, he explained it all. We’d known about ABS ever since we adopted our daughter from Korea (she has a partially-missing left arm due to ABS) but we never realized how extensive it can be and what it can do….

Nathanael is a typical 6-1/2-year-old boy who runs and plays and does anything 6-1/2-year-old boys do. We are so proud of him…. He is quite sensitive about his differences but fortunately when he’s with his friends and peers no one seems to notice. In fact, when we first brought him home all the little girls in his Sunday School class would fight over who got to sit by him…!!!