Teen with special needs wears mother's wedding dress to prom

Teen with special needs wears mother's wedding dress to prom

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - When Jourdan Byrd was born, her mother, Donna, thought she would never experience something as simple as her child going to prom.

Jourdan was born with a rare neuro-genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome.

Characteristics of the disorder include developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures, and walking and balance disorders. Individuals with Angelman syndrome will require life-long care, according to The Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

"When I found out she had this, it felt like a death. I was mourning all the things she couldn't do like having kids, or starting a family," Donna said. "I never thought I would get to experience my daughter going to prom."

By happenstance, Donna reached out to her daughter's teacher, Heather Hughes about the dance.

Heather teaches Jourdan at Forrest County Agricultural High School.

"I asked her if her son, who is very passionate about special needs kids, if he had a date for prom." Donna said.

Spencer Hughes, who has been Jourdan's friend for three years, jumped at the opportunity to take her.

Hughes and Jourdan started their night taking pictures at her house.

"Jourdan wore my wedding dress," said Donna. "It was very emotional for me, because her father died four years ago."

A limo then arrived where Heather and her son would accompany Jourdan to Half Shell Oyster House.

"When Heather went to grab the check, the waitress said someone in the restaurant already took care of the bill," Donna said.

After dinner, Heather told Donna that Jourdan danced until she couldn't dance anymore.

Donna said her daughter had such a good time, she was ready to live the night all over again.

"Sunday she got up, put the dress back on, shoes and everything and kept looking out the window for Spencer," Donna said. "It just shows how awesome of a kid he is, even as a 16-year-old himself."