Angel on the airways
“They are loving, very trusting and content with who they are. And they are Angels in all ways who do not judge,” is how we describe our residents with Down Syndrome.
About 10% of LITTLE EDEN residents, lovingly called Angels, are diagnosed with Downs Syndrome and complete our family circle at LITTLE EDEN. One of them is resident Matthew Turner (45) who was interviewed on Radio Veritas recently. (listen here)
Matthew, as well as Lucy Slaviero, LITTLE EDEN Honorary Lifetime President, promoted our #Pillows4Angels #SleepSound campaign which is currently running on givengain. uring the radio interview Matthew confirmed that indeed these new pillows, made of memory foam, will bring comfort and #SoundSleep to all LITTLE EDEN Angels.
He also relayed his story of love and acceptance he experienced at LITTLE EDEN when he first arrived as a five day old baby. He said his parents entrusted him into the care of Domitilla and Danny Hyams, the founders of LITTLE EDEN, because they knew Domitilla and Danny would take good care of him. The Hyams family took Matthew in their home and gave him a second loving family.
Although Matthew has regular contact with his biological family, his home is at LITTLE EDEN Elvira Rota Village (ERV) in Bapsfontein. Even after the founders of LITTLE EDEN passed on, Matthew still spends weekends and special days with the Hyams family.
He loves helping with several activities at ERV and to be a “game ranger” with Paolo Slaviero (ERV Site Manager). Matthew is also an altar server during Holy Mass celebrations at The Holy Family Chapel at ERV and at St Therese Catholic Church in Edenvale. He also knits the most beautiful scarves, one which was received by Pope Francis.
During the radio interview Matthew also paid tribute to his teachers, Martha and Patience for teaching him to “read and write”, which brings him and his “class mates” the satisfaction of recognising new words or writing the letters of the alphabet and learning a bit about numeracy.
Lucy explained that Downs Syndrome has a wide variety of levels, but all LITTLE EDEN Angels fall into the criteria of severe to profound intellectual disability, which puts into perspective the level of teaching Matthew and his friends at ERV receive ̶ learning capabilities of very young pre-schoolers.
Lucy describes a decision to place a loved one, like that of Matthew’s parents, in a Home as brave. “Parents every day feel a sense of loss and separation from their beloved child, but most parents are content with the fact that their child is well-cared for,” said Lucy.
* The website http://www.downsyndrome.org.za/ defines Down Syndrome as a “chromosomal disorder arising at the time of conception”. There is an extra number 21 chromosome (Trisomy 21) which causes delays in physical and intellectual development.
The website also says the exact cause of Down Syndrome is unknown and not related to race, age, religion and socio-economic status. Although the condition cannot be cured, people with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, appropriate medical care, early intervention, educational and vocational services, similar to the care received at LITTLE EDEN.
Bring #SoundSleep to Matthew and his fellow Angels by donating towards our #Pillows4Angels campaign at
https://www.givengain.com/cause/11242/campaigns/18703) or watch his interview on