A Grandmother against the Odds
Cystic Fibrosis Woman becomes a Grandparent
Dee lived to see her Grandchildren
A Fife cystic fibrosis sufferer who beat the odds to become a mother has further exceeded expectations by becoming a grandmother, writes Cheryl
Wood of The Courier.
Dee Owen with pictures of grandchild William
Dee Owen's grandson William was born six weeks ago an event the 48-year-old from Newport never thought she would see.
When Dee's son Robert William's fatherówas born 28 years ago it was rare for women with the life-shortening condition to become mothers.
And as the average life expectancy of cystic fibrosis sufferers is only 31 Dee didn't think she would live long enough to
see her two sons become parents.
Cystic fibrosis, an inherited condition, causes the organs, especially the lungs and pancreas, to become clogged with a
thick, sticky mucus. Dee, knows of only one other cystic fibrosis sufferer, a woman in
Edinburgh, who has lived to see a grandchild.
William was born on October 14 in Grimsby, where his dad Robert and mum Natalie Smith live.
There was a one in four chance he would have cystic fibrosis, too, as both Robert and Natalie are carriers,
but fortunately he has been given the all clear, although there is a 50% chance he will also be a carrier.
Devoted grandmother Dee and husband Jock travelled to see William when he was born and are looking
forward to spending more time with him at Christmas.
Dee said, "Someone asked me what it was like to be a grandmother but it hasn't sunk in yet.
I didn't think I would be here for that.
Dee, who also suffers from diabetes and is an amputee because of an accident, said she had kept a wish list of things to
achieve, including a parachute jump and visiting Egypt, both of which she has done.
But She said she had never added having grandchildren to the list because she thought it was impossible.
She joked, "I thought the dog would outlive me."
When Dee's first child was born, she said, pregnancy among sufferers was rare and doctors viewed her as a guinea pig.
She said she and Jock did not know how the pregnancy would affect her and it put such pressure on her body her weight dropped to five stones.
She said, "Pregnancy is a strain even for a normal, healthy woman." However, she said by the time she had her second son Matthew eight years later there was more understanding, although there were still few mothers with cystic fibrosis.
Article courtesy and © The Courier, D.C.Thomson&Co.,Ltd