The Mighty Logo

Special Needs Dad Takes 90% Pay Cut to Give Daughter Adventures of a Lifetime

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Years ago, John Silk, from South London, ran his own successful recruitment business. He was a Porsche-drivng businessman with a lucrative career and not a lot of free time. Then one day he gave it all up to spend time with his daughter.

Vicky Silk has Down syndrome and a heart condition called Eisenmenger’s syndrome. Doctors gave her a life expectancy of 15 years when she was just 8 months old, according to the Mirror, but have now extended it to between 35 and 40 years. She’s 22 years old.

John Silk used to see his daughter only on weekends after his separation from Vicky’s mom, but then Silk decided that wasn’t enough. He and his wife, Gerry, quit their jobs and began saving and doing odd jobs to take Vicky on trips around the world. The change was a 90 percent salary cut for Silk, according to The Daily Mail.

The couple began using coupons and got part-time jobs to help save up. Silk also worked as a school bus assistant so he could earn some extra money and see Vicky more every day.

Over the last 14 years, the family has gone on 24 trips to 15 countries. They’ve been to Hollywood, gone scuba diving, swam with dolphins, flown over an active volcano and more.

I wanted to show Vicky the world,” Silk told The Daily Mail. “All I wanted was to see her smile and gasp in amazement. So every penny I earn now pays for a holiday for her… we couldn’t be happier. Vicky has taught me what life is about.”

Originally published: November 30, 2015
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home