In what has evolved into a heart-breaking story between a father, his wife, and his newborn son, a man named Samuel Forrest was forced to choose between his wife and his new baby diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Sadly, he had to make this decision because his wife’s family was too ashamed of the newborn’s condition. Just hours after the birth, his wife of 18 months gave him an ultimatum – the woman he loved, or his newborn son.
“There’s a real problem with your son,” said the doctor as he brought Samuel Forrest his new-born son covered up in a blanket. Health authorities wouldn’t even let him see the child or his wife at first, the eventually led him into a room where he’d finally see the baby.
“When I walked into the room they all turned to me and said ‘Leo has Down syndrome’. I had a few moments of shock,” he told ABC News.
Not long after entering the room, Forrest held his son Leo for the very first time.
“They took me in see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful — he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him.”
But his wife seemed to have already made her decision.
“I got the ultimatum right then,” he said. “She told me if I kept him then we would get a divorce.”
Samuel Forrest could see that his wife already made a decision without any consultation. She filed for divorce a week after his decision was made.
Now, Samuel is making moves to return to his native land of New Zealand so he can raise Leo alone, working hard to raise enough money for his move to be possible.
Not surprisingly, the fundraising page did incredibly well – and fast. Within the first 24 hours, the page, titled Bring Leo Home, managed to gather more than $100,000.
“Leo and I found out in the wee hours of the morning that we had crossed our target. He is a lucky guy to have the support of thousands of friends around the world.”
The money will be used to find a home in Auckland and to give Leo education opportunities.
Samuel also plans to use some of the funds to support parents in Armenia who are raising children with disabilities.
“We’d also like to share the surplus funds with the only orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes abandoned Down syndrome babies as well as other organisations that can help these children.”
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