Pareto theorized the “5 why” philosophy, which states for any cause you come across if you ask and answer “why” 5 times you’ll get to the root cause of the problem. “Why” is a question that plagued my wife from the 20 week scan to our child’s delivery. At the 20 week scan we were informed that our child had multiple abnormalities. He was tested for three stages of chromosomal disorders but his tests always came back normal. Perplexed, the doctors were wondering why they were seeing these abnormalities. We continually asked how severe the abnormalities were. The answer was the same across every doctor we faced. “I don’t know, I won’t know until he is born,” they told us. We were in a state of confusion. Our lifestyle is/was not one that is conducive for breeding issues. The question still lingered, “why.”
Fast forward through time and our son was born to my surprise with the issues the doctors mentioned and many more. My wife and I decided to go through genetic testing hoping we would find an answer. Our son was a case that none of the doctors had ever seen anything like before. After the genetic testing we found our answer. It was a defective gene passed on to our son through my wife. We didn’t know exactly how it happened but we knew that her mother had gone through a similar situation with a son 30 years prior to our son being born.
In our city, we have a growing problem with infant mortality. The question is “why.” I am aware that genetic testing 30 years ago wasn’t as far along as it is now. But hypothetically speaking, let’s say it was. If my wife’s mother had known the reason behind her son dying and if it were a genetic defect she probably would have shared that information with my wife. If that had happened, we may have found other means to get pregnant. That’s one life saved and a decrease in infant mortality. Now multiply that across all the mothers and fathers who could have used other means to get pregnant. Now the infant mortality rate has drastically decreased. Genetic testing today is more advanced than it was years ago and it is more available. So don’t be scared of genetic testing and do not be ashamed to speak with your children about it.
By: Christopher Jones, Sr.