» Adulthood

Determined youngster who showed what could be done

When Tracey Hoskins was a year old, and on the same day that doctors told her mother, Elaine, that her daughter would not walk until she was at least seven, Tracey managed to walk around the house for five hours.

When she was seven, Tracey was knocked down by a car. She stood up, brushed herself down and told the driver off for making her dirty. These were the first words Tracey had ever spoken.

Such determination has made Tracey the independent woman she is today and her mother the proud woman she is. “I’d have six Traceys to any so called ‘normal’ child,” said Elaine. “She is such a good natured and generous girl.”

Elaine described the first night Tracey moved into her own flat, nine years ago, to begin an independent life as “petrifying”.

“I stayed in the flat with her that first night,” said Elaine. “But she was so confident and so able to look after herself that I had no qualms about leaving her after that.”


And it speaks volumes about Tracey to learn that she has never been out of work since she attended the Welsby Hall Linkage Trust College of Further Education for children with disabilites in Grimsby.

Catering is her particular forte and she is currently working for the Tesco superstore restaurant in Hatfield having worked, also in catering, for several local elderly peoples’ homes. She also has a part time job looking after a small boy called Charlie.

Elaine lives just around the corner from Tracey and is always on hand to help should the need arise. The bond between mother and daughter is extremely close.

“Tracey is very independent and copes really well on her own,” said Elaine. “But she is still dependent on me and the rest of the family emotionally. She has no real friends close by and she finds that upsetting sometimes.”

Elaine and Tracey’s journey to the life they enjoy today has been a roller coaster ride.

Elaine had to deliver Tracey by herself. The maternity ward she was in had 32 women in labour at the same time and the hospital was in the middle of a doctors’ and nurses’ strike.

When the moment of truth came for Elaine, the skeleton crew that was left to cover the ward could not get to her in time. Elaine performed a DIY birthing. Such an entry into the world is remarkable enough and from the moment Tracey was born Elaine thought of her as a special little baby.

However, doctors at the hospital told Elaine that Tracey was not ‘normal’ and that she would not walk or talk until she was much older.


“I just couldn’t see it at the time” said Elaine. “I told them I thought she looked nice. But they were very negative about her. And even though they diagnosed the Syndrome, they had no idea what to do about it.”

Tracey proved the doctors wrong and walked from an early age and she was potty trained from about the same time. But her speech was very late in coming.

“Tracey couldn’t talk until she was seven years old,” said Elaine, “but her comprehension of everything said to her was total.”

And when the first words came from Tracey they did so in dramatic fashion.

“Tracey was obsessed with cleanliness,” explained Elaine.“One day while we were out walking together she ran out into the road and was knocked over by a car.


“I really thought the accident had killed her but Tracey bounced right back up, took one look at her dress, which was now all dirty, and shouted at the driver ‘You silly cow!’”

From there on, Tracey has developed into a very active and independent young girl, gaining awards in swimming and cookery. And she spent most of her childhood missing out on all the illnesses other children seem to get – Elaine can only remember one day when Tracey was really sick.

In fact, it was only two years ago that Tracey had her first experience of reflux.

It was at that point when her GP, who had never heard of CdLS before he met Elaine and Tracey, found the number of the Foundation and put them in touch.