Lindy Nupen was born on Christmas Day in 1981 in Johannesburg. She was 5 weeks premature and quite a shock to the system! At the time the Nupens already had two older children.

A diagnosis of Down Syndrome was confirmed later that day which was unexpected and such a shock to both Grant and Rosemary.

With time they came to terms with the reality and Lindy came home when she was about 3 weeks old, after she no longer needed to be tube fed in ICU. She was slow to respond but soon crept into their hearts.

She was diagnosed with a hole in her heart, struggled with breathing and spent much time at the doctors and in hospital before the age of two.  Today she is 38 years old and her parents’ pride and joy. They love her dearly. The hole in her heart also closed miraculously!

The Nupens heard about Sunfield through a group of friends in Johannesburg and Lindy started at Sunfield, Canelands in KZN, when she was 8 years old. Her parents flew to Durban 4 times a year to take her there after each school holiday. It was a difficult time, but Lindy progressed in leaps and bounds. She reads fluently and has a remarkable memory for people and events. Each staff member at the school was quite exceptional.

When they moved to Cape Town in 2001, Lindy moved to Sunfield Home, Wellington, in 2002. She was unsettled at first, but quite soon adapted to the new environment, thanks again to the staff who loved and cared for her. She was ready to be part of working in the workshop at Wellington, as Canelands had offered school lessons where she learnt to read and writes. Sunfield Home Wellington’s support in terms of speech and other therapies were simply wonderful and again Lindy responded to the stimulus and variety of activities. The ability to hold a conversation with all who she meets has made her a fascinating person and loved by all.

The developments at Sunfield Home Wellington over the past few years have been outstanding. Lindy now has her own flat, is really quite independent and very technology savvy, which makes communication easy.

Her parents have since moved back to Johannesburg to retire, but Lindy chose to stay in Wellington, since she regards Sunfield as her home. Swimming made a huge impact on her life and health. She was drown-proofed at the age of 6 months and has loved swimming ever since. She has been blessed with a swimming and Life Coach in Lynette Emslie and has represented South Africa at the Down Syndrome World Championships in Durban, Ireland and Taiwan. On each trip she travelled independently with the team. She has now retired from competitive swimming but still keeps up with her training and fitness.

The Nupens have 4 children and love them all equally, they acknowledge that every child is unique and have their own special qualities, but feel Lindy’s uniqueness lays in the fact that she:

  • Remembers everyone she meets
  • Remembers their birthdays and sends a special WhatsApp message to each
  • Treats everyone as equal regardless of age, talent, gender or ethnic origin

The incredibly journey the Nupens have had with their beloved daughter had stopped them from seeing her as disabled but rather as a person with special qualities.

Lindy was born for a reason. She has made them better people and taught them about unconditional love. The Nupens agree they could not have managed on their own and thank God for their family and the strength which He gives them daily.

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