My name is Michael Sullivan. My wife Suzanne and I waited a long time to become parents. We experienced so much joy when we found out that we were pregnant. One day, a phone call from Suzanne’s doctor changed that joy to fear, shock and uncertainty. After a few months, we came in contact with Nicki Rawlings who was planning the opening of GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa. We learned a lot about Down syndrome and what we may expect in the coming years.

Suzanne had a difficult pregnancy. Sophia was born at 30 weeks weighing 2lbs and 3oz.  She had surgery on her intestines at 1 week of age and stayed in the NICU for nearly three months.

Now, Sophia is three and a half years old and is doing great. Sophia has made our lives complete. Every day I come home from work her smile brightens my spirit. I cannot say enough about Sophia. She is a great person. Her sense of humor and loving personality is such a joy. I am blessed to be her father. I cannot imagine my life without her in it. The fear and uncertainty I experienced melted away from the first moment I looked at her beautiful face. I thank God every day for Sophia and look forward to seeing her grow. She continues to make me a better person each day.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads.  I know there are many challenging times when raising a child.  As you know, the great times certainly outweigh the difficult times.  Thank you for all you do for your children. No dad is perfect.  Just being there, loving our children, and supporting them is all that they ask. Have a terrific Father’s Day!


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