This sweet guy begs on a corner near my parent's mission home. Mom says that he seems well cared for (he is always clean and dressed) but they never see the caregivers.
I can't help but wonder. DD has received all sorts of SLP, PT, OT, cardiology checkups twice a year, yearly tests for leukemia and celiac disease, texture sensitivity therapy. She has been poke and prodded so much that she bares her own arm for needles or points to her heart to show the doctor where the stethoscope should go. My daughter has received every help possibly available for her needs in America. She has access to a pharmacy for heart and thyroid meds.
I have been involved with support groups, have a huge library ranging from diagnoses to dietary needs to how to teach reading and math. I have access to the Internet for the latest studies about Down syndrome. If I need to vent, I have a support system of moms of kids with Down syndrome who know exactly how I feel.
What does this young man have? Most families are too poor for hospital care and meds. There are no therapies available. I doubt he has gone to school.
But it does look like he has lots of love. Someone does care for him. He must be healthy to have survived this long.
Ever since my parents arrived in the DRCongo, I thank God every single day that I was born in America. That we have what we consider standard (education, available health care, a beautiful home, money for our needs enough that I can stay home with the kids). Now I have someone new to add to my prayers.
And I do not even know his name.