Emmerdale stars and real-life couple Laura Norton and Mark Jordon have revealed the rare genetic condition affecting their infant children.
Laura (Kerry Wyatt) and Mark (Daz Spencer) share two children: son Jesse, two, and daughter Ronnie, who was born in October 2022.
Meanwhile, Mark, 58, is also a dad to two children from his previous marriage to actress Siobhan Finneran, whom he split from in 2014.
But, the engaged couple have had a rollercoaster few months as parents of a newborn baby girl, now sharing that both of their little ones have been diagnosed with Usher syndrome.
A rare genetic condition called Usher syndrome impairs both hearing and vision. It results in retinitis pigmentosa, a disease of the eyes, and deafness or hearing loss (RP). It occasionally also leads to balance issues.
Usher syndrome is typically diagnosed in children or teenagers, and while there is no known cure, there are treatments available to help manage balance, vision, and hearing issues.
Before learning of the condition, which the family is now learning more about, Laura, 39, who disclosed the diagnosis for the first time, admitted that she had been “in tears” at the thought that something might be wrong with her children.
“We agonized over this before even telling our kids about their condition… When they are old enough to understand, we’ll write them a letter to explain why we did this. In an interview with Hello!, Mark started.
The parents described how they first noticed the warning signs in 2021 when their oldest son Jesse failed hearing tests.
My intuition alerted me to a serious issue, and the thought of it brought on tears for me.it,’ Laura shared.
However, it wasn’t until Laura was expecting their second child that they discovered it was specifically Usher syndrome.
The actors, who first met in 2014 while working together on set, received the diagnosis and learned they were both carriers of the disease during a medical evaluation.
Laura said, “Knowing we had passed this on to our son was heartbreaking.”
It was painful to watch our little boy enjoy the world around him while also knowing that so much would be taken from him,’ she continued, knowing that her son might go blind when he was a teenager.
As a result of his hearing aid, Jesse can now “hear airplanes in the sky before we can,” according to his mother Laura.
The family are slowly coming to terms with the diagnosis and adjusting to a new way of life, and believe it’s helped knowing what to expect second time around with Ronnie’s diagnosis.
Laura and Mark also take comfort in knowing that their two kids have each other, and aren’t alone in what they’re going through.
- Emmerdale’s Charley Webb pens emotional tribute to her mum and her Alzheimer’s battle
- Emmerdale’s Gemma Atkinson hits back at ‘mum-shaming trolls’ who labelled her ‘tubby’
- Emmerdale’s Cain Dingle star has ‘worked out’ Caleb Milligan’s hidden agenda
- Coronation Street: ‘Everything goes wrong’ on Daisy and Daniel’s big day
- Coronation Street wedding horror as Justin Rutherford attacks Daisy Midgely with acid
- Emmerdale’s Amelia Spencer makes life-changing decision after Samson Dingle betrayal