Couple Weds In Hospice So Infant Son Can Witness; He's Dying From A Rare Genetic Disorder

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 19, 04:00 am
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Christopher and Patricia Armstrong held their wedding in a hospice where their dying son was receiving care. He died three days later.
(Photo : Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

A couple from North Carolina exchanged wedding vows in a hospice room. This wasn't exactly an ideal ceremony for Christopher and Patricia Armstrong but they wanted to do this so that their son could be a witness.

The Armstrongs' son, Conner, was one-month-old and dying. He had a genetic disorder known as Edward's syndrome or Trisomy 18.

Over 1 in 2,500 pregnancies have a risk of Trisomy 18. Most of the infants either cannot complete the pregnancy term or die during the birth, per the Trisomy Foundation. If they do live, however, the babies are not expected to survive longer than a year old. There is no cure to Trisomy 18.

"Basically he has an extra eighteenth chromosome," Christopher said, per WFMY News. "It has more internal effects," the father added.

Babies with Edward's syndrome experience different conditions that affect major organs like the kidneys or the heart, as well as other birth defects. In Conner's case, his heart had three holes.

Knowing his time was short, the Armstrongs decided they would have their wedding at the hospice so they could be with their son. Three days following the wedding, however, Conner passed away. His parents, while devastated, do not regret having the infant for a brief period.

"We are just appreciating every minute we have with him," mom Patricia said, as per Daily Mail. "It's been scary. It's been emotional, but it's well worth it."

With their baby gone, the Armstrongs are determined to pick up the pieces and start life anew. They intend to find a new home and try to resume their lives back to normal.

Families and friends have set up a Go Fund Me page for the Armstrong family to cover for Conner' funeral expenses and his remaining medical bills. The couple also has two other children, Aubri and Graci.

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