My life with Apert Syndrome
My name is Dorsey Ross, and I was born on January 16th 1977, with a birth defect called Apert Syndrome. Apert Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder which effected my hands and my face. When I was born my forehead was pushed inward, my eyes and nose where pushed outward, and my fingers and toes where fused together. There was no individual movement of my limbs. My parents Carole and Earl Ross, weren't even aware, and did not even know about my condition either before or after I was born until the doctors told them. After examing me, the doctors made them aware of my condition. They told them that because of my condition I would eventually become brain dead since I did not have any opening or soft spot in my skull. Thankfully my parents both knew and trusted in God, and believed that God had a better plan and purpose for my life.
My parents decided to take the risk on the baby that God had just given them, and to take me home, and see what would happen. A nurse at the hospital told them that another hospital was doing operations on babies like me and to take me there. At the hospital doctors said that although I would have to overcome a lot of obstacles, difficulties, and future operations, I would survive. At six weeks I had the first of many operations over my lifetime. Five years later, I was able to enter the Henry Viscardi school for people with disabilties.
Growing up as someone with a disability, I was teased made fun of, picked on, called a monster and a freak since I looked different than other people. I didn't have a normal face or hands like everyone else. I had the acceptance from my parents and family, though I didn't always have it from my friends or people in my neighborhood. My arms are shortened, so I can't always reach for things on a high shelf. Since my fingers are smaller, and thicker than most, I have problems with tieing shoe laces, though for the most part, I can do mostly everything else on my own.
I grew up in the church, and as I got older, I started to go to the youth group in the church. That was one place where I always felt loved and accepted. I want to apologize if you were hurt, or never accepted in a church.
Though their were times I felt loved and accepted unfortunately that wasn't always the case. At times I felt lonely, angry, depressed, and because of that I wanted to end my life. Though I never attempted it, it was something that lingered in my head. I didn't know what I was going to do after I graduated high school. My high school History teacher even told me that I wasn't going to make it in college since I wasn't smart enought. Though with all that I had been through and went through, I decided to attempt college anyway. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I was going from a small pond into the ocean. In high school I wasn't the smartest kid in the class, I didn't have a 4.0 GPA, I never made the honor roll. In college I never made the deans list, or received any special occlades. Though I knew that it was what God wanted me to do, or at least try to do.
In my life, I have a saying that the word can't is not in my vocabulary. If I am going to try and do something I am going to try and do it at least once. Throughout my life I have had 68 operations to reconstruct my face and operate on my hands. On May 5th 2005, nine years after I was told I wouldn't make it in College, 28 years after my parents were told I wouldn't survive, I was able to cross the stage of the University of Valley Forge to receive my Bachelors of Arts degree in Youth Ministry. Though as of today, I am not a youth pastor, though I am a minister, and I travel around the country, giving my story of what God has done in my life.
The other part of my story is that I am still single, and I would like to get married at some point in my life. Like most of us, I am sure that's something we all dream about, and hope to do. I say that to let you know that you are not alone, their are others out their hoping for the same thing that you are. Unfortunatley like all of us, because we look different, or are not perfect we wonder will someone find us attractive enough to love us. For all of us, I hope we all do, I hope that I find that woman of God that He has for me.
If you get something out of this story I hope that you get that whatever you face, whatever you deal with in your life, you can overcome it, with Gods help. Don't Give UP, and don't lose out hope for your life, God has something great in store for it. By the way I am also an author of a book titled Overcomer: Discovering God's Plans Against All Odds.
I hope that you enjoyed this story, and you can find out more about me on instagram at @dorsey.ross and my website at www.dorseyrossministries.com