Weekdays 12.30pm

Andy and Sarah Merriman on World Down Syndrome Day: 'We were shocked when Sarah was born. Now she's a role model'


Andy and his daughter Sarah joined Ruth, Kelly, Janet and Linda to talk about her life with Down's syndrome.

Andy recently wrote a book, A Major Adjustment, about his daughter's journey as an adult. So they joined us on World Down Syndrome Day to discuss Sarah's life.

'When she was born it was a total shock to us,' Andy said. 'I suppose you think about what's going to happen when we're not around, what she'll be able to achieve and how she'll be treated.'

And Sarah, 26, spoke to us about her job as a waitress, having a boyfriend and living independently. 'I work in the centre of London as a waitress in a hotel,' Sarah said. 'I've got a boyfriend called Leon and live in sheltered accommodation with a friend. It was so sad to leave my parents behind but I know they're always there.'

Andy explained when Sarah left home she told her parents, 'I love you but I don't need you.'

'Sarah's a fantastic role model but for other people it's more difficult,' Andy said.

Down's syndrome is a genetic condition where the person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. It can also cause learning disabilities and there are certain medical problems which are at an increased risk of developing. There are approximately 40,000 people in the UK with Down's, with around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK having the syndrome.

Watch the video to see the inspirational interview with Sarah and Andy.

Andy Merriman and his daughter Sarah
Weekdays 12.30pm