Jessica and Frank Capitani are a married couple living in central Pennsylvania. And when they first heard that Jessica was pregnant, they were delighted. It was going to be their first baby together.
In fact, the couple couldn’t wait to become parents. But it was only at their first ultrasound scan that they would finally be able to find out more about their growing baby. And Jessica even brought her mom along to the appointment.
Her mom wanted to film the whole appointment so that they could remember the special day. So she filmed her daughter laying down on the doctor’s bed ahead of the ultrasound. And Jessica appeared happy and excited to be there.
Next, Jessica was seen proudly showing off the ultrasound photos to the camera. Frank, standing next to his wife, also beamed into the camera lens. The scans had finally revealed the gender of their baby.
And it was a boy! “We saw the male anatomy up there on the ultrasound screen,” the expectant mom said in a video interview posted on YouTube. “We couldn’t wait to broadcast it to everyone in the family.” Indeed, as one of four sisters, Jessica was delighted to introduce another male to the family.
So far everything seemed to have gone smoothly at the appointment. Next, Jessica’s mom commented, “I’m going to record what the nurse just said.” She wanted to get the official announcement of the gender on camera so that she could show other family members.
But when she asked the doctor if they could film him telling the Capitanis that they were having a boy, he refused. Then, he said something heart-stopping. “You probably don’t want to videotape this,” he warned.
What Jessica and Frank hadn’t considered was that ultrasounds can tell doctors far more about a baby than just its gender. “I thought the ultrasound that day was just to find out the sex of my baby,” said Jessica. “I was so naive and I didn’t think about the other things that ultrasounds are actually done for.”
The doctor told them their unborn son had multiple health problems. Not only would he be born with Down’s Syndrome, but he also had 16 other conditions. Of course, the news was hard to take.
Although Frank described it as a “tough meeting,” the couple decided that their son’s illnesses didn’t change anything. “Every baby is a blessing, and just because a child has Down’s Syndrome doesn’t change that,” Jessica said. And so the pregnancy continued.
The Capitanis welcomed their son into the world a few months later. And they chose a very appropriate name for him: Caden. In Gaelic, “Caden” means “fighting spirit,” something that their little boy certainly had.
Over the years Caden grew into a strong and energetic little boy. Yes, despite all his health complications, he has been living a very full life. His mom described him as “just doing lots of typical boy things.”
His condition clearly hasn’t stopped him being interested in many different things. In a video showing Caden in his room at home, one of his biggest passions in life is immediately obvious. Looking upwards, he points at numerous brightly colored planets hanging from the ceiling.
And not only is Caden into planets, but he’s also quite the video game expert. In fact, he’s so good that his mom said she doesn’t even try to compete with him anymore. “I can’t keep up,” she joked.
Little Caden has also enjoyed numerous holidays with his parents. The Capitanis recalled taking their energetic son to the beach, where he enjoyed fishing with his father. He’s even been to New York and loved seeing Times Square lit up.
Despite his condition, Caden has clearly enjoyed being able to do the normal things that other kids do – like going to football games, for example. And on one occasion he received extra-special recognition.
In fact, the Pennsylvania State football team made Caden honorary captain. And it wasn’t just for any game, either; it was for their first home game of the year. Photographs show Caden looking very excited posing with the mascot and jumping around the field.
When he’s not on the sidelines watching football, Caden enjoys playing a spot of soccer. His club is part of a program called Children’s Miracle Network, which mom Jessica praised for its ongoing support.
In fact, she even went as far as describing the Children’s Miracle Network as “extended family.” Clearly a huge part of the boy’s life, the network is also described by his mom as “part of the village that raises Caden.”
The Capitanis’ son has a lengthy list of health issues, but that certainly hasn’t stopped him from grabbing life by the horns. In fact, his parents feel that Caden’s health is actually improving. His mom added that she and her husband Frank “have Penn State Hershey Children’s hospital to thank for that.” Caden’s story goes to show that life is there for living, no matter what.