Dad's plea for Down syndrome baby goes viral
09 February 2015, 10:28
Nairobi - Some people feel extremely blessed to be parents to a Down syndrome baby, however, others feel ashamed.
This is the case of Samuel Forrest's wife, who he said refused to look at or touch their son Leo who was born on January 21 in Armenia.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder characterised by distinct physical characteristics and varying degrees of cognitive dysfunction that range from mild to severe.
Although Down syndrome is considered a genetic disease, most cases are not inherited. Instead, the disorder is usually caused by a spontaneous mutation, or mistake, during the development of the egg, sperm, or embryo.
Samuel Forrest's wife gave him an ultimatum.
"She told me if I kept him then we would get a divorce," he said, reported ABC News. "I looked at this guy and I said, he's beautiful - he's perfect and I'm absolutely keeping him.
The 36-year-old told Kidspot that doctors said they had 10 days to decide if they wanted to keep Leo. “But once I held him in my arms, I fell in love with him ... I said to the doctors that he was absolutely beautiful, of course I was going to keep him."
One week later, Forrest's wife filed for divorce.
This sad story exposes Armenia's hidden shame - scores of forgotten babies who are abandoned each year over physical or intellectual disabilities.
Image: Leo Forrest was born on the morning of January 21, weighing a healthy 3.9kg. (GoFundme)
Forrest says he wants to give Leo "love, cuddles & devotion" and is planning on returning to his home country New Zealand. He turned to crowdfunding site, GoFundMe, launching a campaign called 'bring Leo home' to raise $60 000 to go back to New Zealand and to be home to care for Leo.
Here is his post:
After 10 days, a total of 6 520 people opened their wallets raising $196 465. In response to the overwhelming support, Forrest said some money will be given to the only orphanage in Armenia that regularly takes in abandoned Down syndrome babies.
Here is his post
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!