Only-child Charlie had earned the nickname of ‘Cheerful Charlie’ because of his sunny disposition. One morning, he came to the day care center with a huge smile on his face. Proudly he announced, “I am going to be a big brother!” His mother confirmed the happy news when she collected him that day.
The elation turned to tears some months later when the baby was stillborn in the eighth month of pregnancy. Just one year later, his mother fell pregnant again. This time, she gave birth to a daughter with Down’s syndrome, the severity of the baby’s physical and mental condition was such that she required around the clock care and special medical attention and so Charlie’s sister was unable to attend the WIZO Day Care Center. That was a double blow to Charlie, who saw no difference in the baby sister that he clearly adored and could not understand why she could not come to school with him. He wanted to have her there, so he could ‘watch over her’ as the big brother that he had proudly become.
Charlie was inconsolable. It was only with the careful and sympathetic intervention of the WIZO caregivers and dedicated counselors who soothed Charlie and coaxed him to join in with his friends that he regained his cheerfulness. When Charlie left the day care center at the age of three, he was back to his usual, happy self.
Since then, Charlie’s mother has given birth to a healthy baby girl who attends the day care center. She has the same smiley disposition as her big brother. The family never forgot the special care and attention that Charlie received during that traumatic time. They view the WIZO Day Care Center as an extension of their own family and they know, very well, that their precious and beautiful baby girl is in the very best hands.
(Names changed to preserve anonymity)
(Photo for illustration purposes only)