Jonathan’s Story by Gary McCallum

Written by Guest Writer

June 13, 2021

My son is called Jonathan and he has Down’s Syndrome. Jon is 32 and lives in his own home in Portishead. He has a younger brother called George. He lives with two of his friends who also have Down’s Syndrome , they have 24 hour support from a team of carers.
When Jon was born my wife and I were shocked we knew so little about the condition. We received very little help from the hospital but our family doctor was brilliant.

It was lovely watching Jon grow up, he would wake up smiling each morning. He went to a school for children with learning disabilities, he gained a lot of confidence and made many friends.
Jon had a few health problems as he was growing up, when he was 11 he was diagnosed as having type 1 diabetes, he also has severe psoriasis, epilepsy and an under-active thyroid which are all really well controlled and do not interfere with his day to day activities and he is generally healthy and happy.

Jon went to a great school for children with learning disabilities and stayed there until
he was 18 and then went to a Mencap residential college in Yeovil for three years. He learned to become much more independent and to do things for himself which set him up nicely for living in his own house where he has lived for over 10 years now. Jon has a job on a Friday working in a bakery which he loves and he also going on his 3 wheeler bike, dancing, music and films.
This is just a short snap shot of Jon’s life we never thought Jon would live in his own home, we just assumed he would be with us for the rest of his life.

We look forward to Jon coming home for a sleepover every 2-3 weeks. The world is a better place with Jon in it, the joy and happiness he’s brought us and brings us daily is surely a blessing and we wouldn’t change a single thing about him.


  1. Adam

    Good Evening, may I say this is an absolutely beautiful story and I have so much respect for John and your whole family. I wish him the best for the future and to you all I send my love and prayers. 🙏❤️🙏

    • Erika Petrie

      Thank you so much for your support Adam. I appreciate your comments.

  2. Susie S

    God bless Jonathan, my son elijah, is 35, this month, he also lives in his own home with support. Back when our boys were born ther was not much support for us parents, the doc told me there were clean places I could send Elijah to live. He came home with me and a sister waiting for him. His dad could not accept he and left us. I raised Elijah on my own. With the love of his family and much work he has grown into a great young man.

  3. Lisa Hover

    Well done Jon for over coming every thing and being able to be independent. Good luck for your future and May it be filled with joy.


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