ARMENIA — Imagine your spouse filing for divorce because your newborn child has Down Syndrome. That’s the story of Samuel Forrest’s life. After his son Leo was born on January 21st, he experienced a moment of shock after doctors advised him that his son had Down Syndrome. But after holding Leo’s hand for the first time, Samuel fell in love.
However, that was quickly interrupted when his wife gave him an ultimatum. “If you keep him, we’re getting a divorce.”
Just a few weeks later the papers were filed and Samuel was no longer welcome into the couple’s home. With nowhere to turn, Samuel decided to seek support from social media. He created a GoFundMe account and in less than one week has raised over $340,000!!!
Originally from New Zealand, he plans to move back home where it will be easier to integrate with society and find support.
He posted this thank you message to everyone who has made donations:
“Thanks everyone – we are stunned beyond words at the incredible support & love you’ve shown for little Leo.
9 days after we started our campaign, Leo and I found out in the wee hours of morning that we had crossed our target! He is a lucky guy to have the support of thousands of friends like you around the world.
Some of the additional funds that we have raised will be used to secure better living conditions in Auckland, and to give Leo higher quality opportunities when it comes to education – a good home and school cost money, but Leo will have all that and more, thanks to you.
We will use some of the money you’ve given to fund facilities and programs here in Armenia that will support future parents to keep their kids despite all disabilities, and to help better care for the special ones who end up away from their Mom & Dad. 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 – thanks to your support we can start to make a difference already
Thanks again for your care and generosity!”
For additional information visit: Bring Leo Home (Down Syndrome)