Jack Land was born just forty-five minutes after his parents arrived to the hospital. Jack's birth was relatively normal, but had jaundice issues so he was admitted to Blank Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for what his parents thought would be just routine treatment.
After his hospital stay, Jack underwent additional testing and was diagnosed with Down syndrome. The news was saddening to the family, facing many unknowns in their son's future, but they quickly realized they had a beautiful baby boy who was healthy and happy, and they learned to embrace the diagnosis.
"Jack is just like any other boy. He shows a range of emotions just like any other child," said Eric. "There may be some hurdles, but with good support, kids with Down syndrome can excel and achieve their goals."
When Jack was younger he would go to physical therapy at Blank Children's once a week. When he was a little older he started occupational therapy twice a month also. He continues today with both occupational and speech therapy.
"Each milestone Jack reaches gives us great promise for Jack's future," said Eric. "From the first moments he walked and talked to recently when he finished Kindergarten, learning to read and overall doing quite well in school. Jack continues to amaze us."
Jack will start first grade this year and he will enjoy going to school and riding the bus. Jack looks forward to playing Miracle League Sports in Ankeny and will continue taking horseback riding lessons. Jack is a big animal lover. He loves his cat, Manny, and dog, Stella. He also enjoys going to the zoo, pet stores and meeting other people's pets. Jack is also a big fan of babies. When he sees a baby in a stroller, he must go say "hi" and check out the baby.
"Jack simply brings joy to other people," said Eric. "He loves to say "hi" to people at the store and you can tell people enjoy getting those smiles from Jack."