Salutes to Mrs. & Mr. Francis Desouza
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My earlier Article “Mercy killing or merciful death – A debate” has reached at top rank with its above 1400 hits by crossing over “Power of Determination”. Out of 10 commentators of the Article, my son – Akbarali who is a director of our ‘Hotel Safar Inn’ at Ahmedabad has inspired me for this Article. Mr. Francis is our General Manager, a very enthusiastic and honest guy. We all treat him, not as our employee but, as our family member.
In the concluding part of my above referred Article, I had appreciated all those parents’ worldwide living or deceased who might have preferred to let their helpless children take birth in spite of the medical advice of opting abortions for the genuine reason of lacking quality life of the child in mother’s womb. Those people have accepted the challenge to fight against the destiny of the children as well as their own families. They have spent a lot of money, either their own or borrowed, for the repeated as well as costly Plastic and reconstructive surgeries of their babies.
Mrs. and Mr. Francis are one of those parents whom I specially salute in this Article for their constant struggle in care of Neil, their beloved son, since his birth by ignoring the optional way of going for abortion at the time then. My high honor is especially to Mrs. Francis who allowed her child to take birth to breathe fresh air of the world in spite of having been detected with its cleft lip and palate through prenatal ultrasound tests.
Meanwhile, I’ll quote Ricky Lee Sanderson, a convicted murderer of a 16 year old girl who was executed by lethal gas in North Carolina, USA on January 30, 1998. He had uttered his last words as “I didn’t take the last meal in memory of 33 million babies that have been aborted in this country. They died for no reason, but I am dying for a deed I did and I deserve death for it. Those babies never got a first meal and that’s why I didn’t take the last of mine.”
Above quote needs to be understood, not emotionally but thoughtfully, diving into its depth. A hard hearted criminal’s last words are significant and eye opener for those who advocate in favor of abortion under one or the other pretext. It is a slap on cheeks of those cruel parents who did not allow their helpless babies at least to have a single breath in this world.
Francis couple was not economically sound. They took their best decision by their faith in God. They were well informed in advance that they will have to spend uncountable money for repeated surgeries of the child. They were self respecting persons and were never to ask for any charity to anybody. While coming to this challenging decision, they had thought out the only option of working hard to save money and establish the normal life of the child. They decided to be true Christians by practice. They were thankful of God that they were chosen by Him to pass through such hard test of their lives. In their view, how the child might be, but it was the precious gift from God to them and its denial was just the disobedience of God and ethically also an unforgivable sin.
Most of the parents put in such situation argue that the treatment of such defective children is too expensive and time consuming. By taking support of such argument, they go for barbaric abortions; but, Mrs. And Mr. Francis were not such kind of parents. They took a joint decision with one voice not to go for abortion. They were lucky also that the rest members of their large family were also unanimously in moral support with them in their decision. Mrs. & Mr. Francis thanked God that they had not to resist even a single difference of opinion in this regard.
But, Mr. Francis still remembers their critical mental uneasiness that lasted for 3 weeks prior to the result of the final test of amniocentesis for diagnosing the mental fitness of the child. They were afraid of that if the said report turned out to be adverse, their firm decision of letting the child take birth might perhaps get wavered. They prayed to God not to provide them any excuse of opting abortion for both the reasons of child’s physical and mental handicapped-ness gathered together.
The day arrived to have the final Report. Mr. Francis alone went to the hospital and to his great satisfaction and joy; all the doctors congratulated him for it was the favorable result. Mr. Francis left the chamber immediately and excitedly ran along the lobby to phone at home. The attendant ran behind him to call him back. Mr. Francis returned in an upset mood afraid of suspecting something wrong.
Doctor said to him, “Would you not like to know the sex of the child? As it is prohibited by law to give such reports, but through this allowed test, one may know the sex of the child. People and some mal-practicing laboratories go by this way to serve their purpose.”
“No question arises for us whether it is a male or female. In our view, it is the gift from the God in any sex of the child; and its prior knowledge will not move us from our determination. If you don’t mind, you may tell me. It would be good news for child’s mother.”
“It’s a boy.” was the affectionate reply in chorus from the Medical Staff just to share the pleasure with Mr. Francis.
“Thanks to God once again for the only reason that the child’s grand parents at least will be very happy. Do you know why? The child in its mother’s womb is our first male child of their next generation.” said Mr. Francis emotionally with tears in his eyes.
Between the lines, it would be interesting to know how the counselors treat the parents for some future mental preparedness in the interest of the child. Mrs. & Mr. Francis were told to forget to have another child besides this one in future. They explained the issue in this way: (1) Suppose that if another child is having the same problem, it would be difficult for them to treat both properly. (2) It is obvious that the junior would be attended more compared to the first one and equal justice might not be maintained. (3) In case of another child is normal, the first may be ignored as it is psychologically true and but natural also. Both had agreed with the counseling they were provided.
Now, let us go to witness the financial struggle of Francis couple. To meet with the expenses, they adopted two way strategies; one, to earn more and two, save more and more. Further, they knew that their efforts even at their extremes would prove to be deficient as it would be like digging a mountain with a tiny spade. Moreover, they had made up their minds not to ask for any charity from the people as previously has been said; but at the same time, if any relative or a friend is desirous to give something at his or her will without any obligation and also with intention of only help, they would accept it.
Mr. Francis was a qualified person of Hotel Management and he decided to try his luck abroad to earn more. He migrated to Dubai and worked there for several years. Here, Mrs. Francis was determined to sacrifice like anything for her beloved son. To meet with dreadful expenses of costly treatments, she relieved her maid-servant doing domestic work and started doing everything herself. She worked on her sewing machine till late at night. During the day time, she worked as a part-time employee in a private firm. In brief to say, she left nothing to do to save and earn money to shoulder Mr. Francis in their mission. Mr. Francis also worked over-time and lived an economical life to reach the goal of collecting funds.
For treatment of Neil, they preferred Bombay as it was their native place and rest family members were available there for manual support and also to have blood donations easily from them which were going to be needed frequently. It is Wadia Children Hospital where the treatment of Neil has been going on since Neil’s age of 6 months. The very first surgery of half cleft lip was done in 1999 and then followed the second half lip, the cleft palate, bone grafting and subsequently necessary surgeries in total number of 6 till now. Two final nasoplasty surgeries have been scheduled to cure the child completely.
It will be a note-worthy matter for my Readers to know how an entire team of Specialists and many others worked hard during the course of a decade. They were Geneticists, Plastic Surgeons, ENT Doctors, Orthodontists, Oral Surgeons, Dentists, Speech Therapists, Audiologists, Psychologists, Coordinator Nurses and Social Workers. In simple words to say, it was a joint mission of not only specialists but also hundreds of well-wishers and relatives praying to the Almighty God for the cure of the child.
Summing up, I cannot restrict myself to praise the tender child who passed through a very lengthy treatment with painful repeated surgeries having thousands of shots and unlimited medications. In words of Mr. Francis to say, Neil suffered a lot when a plate was being put in his mouth by Orthodontist to solve the feeding problem. It is beyond our imagination how this little angel would have suffered physical and mental pains during the lengthy treatment. My salutes to entire team of Medical Experts also and those Researchers in disguise who worked for the cause of humanity with such a medical boon to the world.
Hope my Readers will join with me with their feelings to congratulate Mrs. and Mr. Francis along with their son, Neil – studying in Fifth Standard always keeping his position within three ranks in each examination.
With warm regards,
– Valibhai Musa
Tags: લેખ, Dubai, ENT, family, Geneticists, life, Medical, Oral Surgeon, Orthodontist, Ricky Lee Sanderson, Social, Wadia Hospital
DR. CHANDRAVADAN MISTRY
December 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm
VERY NICE TOUCHING STORY ! My Salutations to Mr.& Mrs. Frances Desouza ..& our PRAYERS & BLESSINGS to Neil. A birth of a Child is the greatest JOY for any family…but the circumstance of life often dictate a decision in a comlex situation…..& when the situation of a possible ” birth defect ” is complicating the situation then it is the FAITH which guides a Family. It was a decision of the CONTINUATION of the PREGNANCY vs ABORTION….& the Frances family were guided by their FAITH…..they were also prepared to face the hardships etc for the care of the Child…..then, THE GRACE of GOD changed the situaton ( with doctors & others ) & the SURGICAL POCEDURES tranformed the chlid NEIL….
This isthe story of FRANCES but it can be a different for a different situation……imagine the medical condition of the mother is SO WORST or some WORST BIRTH DEFECT & unable to sustain….then ABORTION as the medical advice may be right….&one has to accept as GOD’S WILL too Abortion because ithe child isgoing to be a GIRL has NO PLACE at all. And, I do not believe at all in MERCY KILLING…how can a DOCTOR be aGOD ? This is my OPINION !
January 4, 2009 at 11:14 am
Hello Mr Musa
As always this article was very interesting and touchy. Even I have one of my close friend who didn’t knew at the time of birth that his child was suffering from autism. It was only in the seventh month the truth surfaced when the child had a feet..He was shattered but circumstances and situtation made him strong and committed that he will go for the treatment of his child. Doctors have advised him that complete cure is not possible but with physiotherapy improvement is surely possible. Till date my friend and his wife take his son regularly for physiotheraphy at Nair Hospital at Mumbai Central. there has been considerable improvement but still lot to go. I sometimes think that i wouldn’t have been ab;e to face the situtation if i was in his place. But feel that situtations make people strong and pragmatic to handle them.
I really empathise with Mr and Mrs Francis and it requires strong courage and conviction to beleive what looks to be an impossible task.
May 6, 2010 at 3:15 am
Excellent true story – an eye opener and thought provoking story.
1. How is Neil now?
2. Is he autistic too?
A small input – if you do not mind—- Your articles are too lengthy .
May 6, 2010 at 3:20 am
1. How is Neil now?
2. Is he autistic too?
I am sorry for raising this query as last few lines cover them. I missed them by oversight.
May 6, 2010 at 3:03 pm
થપ્પીબંધ કોમેન્ટ્સ બદલ આભાર. થોડાક અતિવિસ્તારનું તમારું સૂચન વ્યાજબી છે ખરું, પણ કેટલીકવાર સર્જક થોડોક મજબૂર હોય છે. એને જે જરૂરી લાગે તે તેણે થોડોક અતિ વિસ્તાર થવા દઈને પણ આપવું જ પડે. હા એ ખરું કે ‘શોલે’ને લાંબું બનાવ્યું એમાં થિયેટરમાં મારી તો યુવાનવયે પણ કમર દુખવા આવી હતી. હવે પાણીની ટાંકીવાળું અને બસંતીનું ઘોડાગાડીવાળું ટૂંકાવ્યું હોત તો કંઈ ફરક ન પડત. મારા આર્ટિકલોમાં આવું બિનજરૂરી જવલ્લે જ અથવા કદાચ બિલકુલ જોવા નહિ મળે! આમ છતાંય તમે વિવેચકનો ધર્મ નિભાવ્યો છે તે બદલ ખુશી અનુભવું છું અને ભવિષ્યે ધ્યાનમાં રાખવા જેવી બાબત હોઈ તેની નોંધ લઉં છું.