Life
Mother And Daughter Share The Same Genetic Condition
I'm so glad they had each other.
D.G. Sciortino
09.16.17

Dorothy Hohl was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder caused by a defective gene that does not produce enough collagen making one’s bones prone to fracture and breakage.

Though it is a hereditary condition, Dorothy’s osteogenesis imperfecta occurred through a spontaneous mutation.

Dorothy decided to continue her pregnancy after finding out that she was pregnant even though there was a 50/50 chance that she could pass the disorder onto her daughter.

“I had never once wished that I had never been born and that was a good enough reason for me to allow her to have a chance at life,” Dorothy said.

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The baby’s father didn’t want anything to do with her pregnancy, so she was left to raise the child on her own. She found out that her daughter, Savannah Lorence, had the disorder a week before she gave birth to her.

“I cried for 10 minutes then I got over it,” Dorothy said, explaining that she knew everything would be OK. “The good days always outweigh the bad days.”

The two women who are both 4′ 2″ and wheelchair bound lived together until Savannah went to college.

“That was one of the most difficult times of my life,” Dorothy told Barcroft TV. “We’d been together 24/7 for 19 years and now she was leaving. I didn’t sleep for a week before she left. It was a heart-wrenching situation but I knew she had to go – I had a great career and I wanted her to have that opportunity.”

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Dorothy knew Savanahh would be able to take care of herself because she taught her to. She admits being tough on her daughter when she was growing up.

“I knew she was in pain but I knew she could do anything she wanted,” Dorothy said. “Able-bodied people do difficult things all the time, they climb Mount Everest – may be our Everest is getting a plate off the bottom shelf of the upper cabinet in the kitchen. That’s how I raised and that’s how I wanted to raise her.”

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Savannah says she is looking forward to having a fulfilling future, despite her disability.

“I would love to have children if I am able to or I would perhaps adopt,” she told BarcroftTV. “Things won’t be easy but I know that she got to this place and had a great career – I know I can do that. I want a great career of my own and to be independent – my mother has taught me that I don’t need to depend on other people.”

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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