Wealthy Businessman Takes 90 Percent Salary Cut To Travel World With Terminally Ill Daughter With Down Syndrome

Janice Malcolm

A businessman with a high-flying career and a lovely Porsche swapped out his life of luxury in order to spend more time with his terminally ill daughter and travel around the world. He says that he has never been happier.

Vicky Silk was diagnosed with Down Syndrome when she was born and suffered from heart problems as well. When she was just eight months old, doctors gave her a life expectancy of just 15 years. When John Silk and his wife separated, he only got to see his young daughter on the weekends, and after a while he realized it just was not enough for him and his family and decided to change that.

"We looked for lower-paid part-time jobs in newspapers and shop windows and then we were able to spend more time with Vicky. I got a job on the bus so I could see her every day. When she'd see me in the mornings she'd run down the road calling out to me then give me a hug."

Vicky is now 22 years old and has exceeded the original life expectancy that she was given. According to Daily Mail, the diagnosis she received at eight months is that of Eisenmenger's Complex, which is a heart and lung condition.They advised that they could operate on her heart, but unfortunately there was only a 50 percent chance that she would survive the procedure. Without the surgery they estimated her life expectancy would only be 15 years. The family made the very difficult decision to not do the surgery, instead opting to make the most of the time they had with her.

However, when Vicky made it to 16 they conducted more tests at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. The nurse there informed them that Vicky would only live to about 35 or 40 years old. That doubled the previous life expectancy Vicky had been given and the family was ecstatic. Following this news, John Silk contacted a charity foundation called Dreams Come True in the hopes they could make one of Vicky's biggest travel wishes come true -- to see an active volcano. The charity helped them travel to Hawaii and take a wonderful helicopter ride over an active volcano.

John Silk and his family want to be able to help other families in similar positions give the gift of the world to their children as well, and have become ambassadors for Dream Come True, helping with fundraisers and whatever else it takes to help sponsor persons so they would have experiences similar to what they have been able to give Vicky.

They prefer not to think of the time when they will lose Vicky, choosing instead to simply spend the time living life, being happy, and thinking of the beginnings yet to come.

You can view a library of pictures from Vicky's trips at Daily Mail.

[Photo Courtesy of Stephen Finn / Shutterstock]