Arul Selvan, our pre-maturely born, two-kilo bundle of joy, was a mongoloid baby. We were told he had Down’s syndrome. Things looked bleak, and six months later they got worse. After every feed, Arul’s abdomen would swell up
like a volleyball and within a few minutes his body would reject all nutrition. We consulted many specialists, to no avail. So we turned to God. We started Novena, a nine-day prayer of passionate devotion and penance. On the fifth day our family physician told us, “It could be a malabsorption, due to cereal content in the food.” We stopped the baby food and Arul’s eating improved almost immediately. The other problems, however, continued. There was always some ailment or the other, and all his milestones were delayed.
Now Arul is 37 years old. Though his mental age is that of a teenager, there is great progress physically. To a large extent, he is able to take care of himself. He also helps his mother in sweeping the house, and sometimes swabs the floor, slowly but steadily. He assists me, too, in the garden.
Arul has boundless love for all, and expresses it without any expectation or demands. We all love him dearly. We see him as “God’s special gift”. What we saw earlier as “suffering” we now see as a training tool — Arul changed our life. Our mindset altered, our value-system changed. He removed our pride and replaced it with a spiritual outlook. He helped us learn how to serve others to the best of our ability.
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