You may remember hearing this father’s shocking story a year ago–and even if not, you’ll be glad to hear the positive update.
Samuel Forrest got media attention he was never expecting back in early 2015, when his son, Leo, was born with Down syndrome in Yerevan, Armenia. After the baby was diagnosed, his mother, Ruzan Forrest, gave her husband a jaw-dropping ultimatum: place the baby up for adoption, or she’d file for divorce.
“They took me in to see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful, he’s perfect,” Forrest said at the time. “I’m absolutely keeping him.” He decided to take his son back to his native New Zealand, and created a GoFundMe account to help with the cost. Strangers from all over the world donated more than $500,000.
Rightfully hailed as a hero dad, Forrest is doing well now, a year later, and so is baby Leo–and the two have even reconnected with Ruzan, who has since relocated to be with her family.
“At first I was very, very scared because I didn’t know what Down syndrome was like. Doctors said he would be like a vegetable. It was very scary. I think I was also very selfish and then there was depression…[it was] all of that together,” Ruzan explained to ABC News of that dramatic period in their lives. “One year ago, I couldn’t imagine life with Leo, and now, I can’t really imagine my life without him.”
Agrees Dad, “She’s turned out to be a wonderful mother.”
Watch the video to see more of this family’s moving story–and to find out what Leo’s first words were!