Meet the Montgomery family — especially son Brody who was born with Down Syndrome — who, like any other family, love pizza, tacos and each other.
“We say grace before every meal,” Sabrina Montgomery says, reflecting on her family. “We all love tacos and pizza.” And when it comes to nightly devotions, “we take turns saying what we are thankful for today.”
But while Mexican food and evening prayers are a part of daily life for the Montgomerys, so is something else: Sabrina and Nathan’s son, Brody, has Down Syndrome as well as a heart defect. “Our cardiologist … told us that they could not help him,” she recalls, “that we would lose him by [age] 3.” But by God’s grace, they haven’t.
The Montgomery family, including daughter Morgan, is speaking up. By sharing their story through the #eyesoflife campaign, they are giving voice to what millions of others believe as well: that all life, from conception to natural death, is sacred, valued and a gift from God.
It doesn’t mean Brody hasn’t known his share of suffering. He has … and more than any child should have to. “While doing radiation, Brody got RSV and a staph infection. He had a cardiac arrest, and it took them five minutes to bring him back to us,” his mom remembers. “Many times we were told we might lose him.”
And as if those health concerns weren’t enough to test a family’s mettle, Sabrina herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is, she says, “a life-changing thing.” She learned quickly that cancer “affects everyone.”
But God has used His Son — and her son too — to comfort their family, especially on the particularly dark days. “Brody having his health issues — and almost losing him — helped us put our faith in God,” she explains. “By God’s grace, He helped me through it.”
Down Syndrome and breast cancer have drawn both mother and son closer to Christ, to the one who alone provides ultimate comfort. In this way, they have together been given clearer eyes of life, especially when “seeing the eyes and smiles of the doctors that thought [Brody] wasn’t going to make it, seeing the miracles and what God has blessed us with, making my son’s life matter.”
And those health concerns have caused something else too: It’s made Sabrina and her husband “more willing to approach people about our faith,” she explains. “We want people to see the miracles God has done for us.”
The Montgomerys are anxious to spread the word that Brody’s life matters because of Christ. On account of Him, Brody has value and worth, regardless of his health issues. “My mother-in-law told us that many past generations worried someone would have a child with Down Syndrome,” Sabrina notes.
But that’s not the case for the Montgomery family. “A child with a disability isn’t a burden,” she states matter-of-factly. “They are truly a blessing.”
“We want other parents to know that if you get the diagnosis of a child with Down Syndrome in utero it isn’t the worst thing that can happen,” she encourages. “They change the family dynamic for the better. They bring so much joy and love to the family.”
And they do something else too: They teach that “every child has the right to life and to be loved, no matter how long they live or what quality of life they will have. They deserve to be loved and fought for” … tacos, prayers and all.