My Love Affair with Jude Del Pozo Martinez Bauer: The Rest of the Story
In August 2016, our daughter Rachel and Alberto, her husband, traveled up from Memphis with their two children Noel and Jude, to visit my wife and myself in Dayton, Ohio.

One afternoon during their stay, I was sitting in my favorite reading chair beside our kitchen area and glancing over my shoulder I saw seven-year-old Noel playing and beside her on the floor was her three year old brother Jude. Jude was in a trance – fixated on the screen of his Leap Pad computer tablet, his “most favorite toy in the world”.

Seeing Jude there triggered something inside me. We’d always gotten along well. He would come to me, and I’d pick him up, cuddle with him and carry him around. He enjoyed being gently tossed in the air or allowing me to hold his legs as I raised him so he could touch the ceiling. He loved the water and playing him in the pool was always a great time. But something told me that I hadn’t really reached out to connect with him at his level. 

Many times I’d wondered… what would happen to him when he grows up? How much would his limitations affect him? Will he ever live independently? Who would care for him when he outlived his grandparents and parents? I knew too little about the life of an adult with Downs Syndrome and often thought that I should learn more.

Since Jude’s birth, I asked my friends and colleagues in Family Medicine about kids and adults with Down Syndrome. I appreciated there is a wide range in their abilities, and that no two people were really alike. For instance, I learned of a young man with Down Syndrome who worked in a medical school’s department of Family Medicine. Still, I couldn’t helping wondering what kind of life Jude had before him.