Five-year-old Lauren from Barnsley, England, is one of the friendliest little girls around, and oddly enough, it’s because of a rare genetic condition.
When her mom, Katherine Taylor, was 24 weeks pregnant, doctors told her something was wrong but they couldn’t figure out what it was. At 36 weeks, her blood pressure suddenly spiked and she had to get a cesarean section.
Lauren only weighed about three pounds and 12 ounces when she was born and ended up spending nine days in intensive care. Four months later, she was diagnosed with Williams syndrome. Symptoms of this condition include heart issues, dental irregularities, developmental delays, hyper-sensitive hearing, sleep problems, and an unusually cheerful demeanor and interest in strangers.
Lauren herself has a heart condition, trouble sleeping and trouble eating. She also loves music — as children with Williams syndrome tend to — but she’s very sensitive to loud noises. And, of course, she is extremely social.
“It can take us a while to get around the supermarket or the store because straight away, she’s trying to reach out to people and say hello or high five them. She just loves getting feedback from people and having a ‘hello’ back,” Taylor says.
She’s so friendly, in fact, that her mom says stranger danger is something she constantly has to keep in mind. She hopes Lauren will understand in the future that approaching strangers isn’t always safe.
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