Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) February 6, 2015
Samuel Forrest of Armenia just recently became a father… a single father.
On January 21, Forrest’s wife Ruzan Badalyan gave birth to a boy named Leo. However, the child had then been diagnosed with Down syndrome, and in Armenian culture children born with such conditions are thought to bring shame to the entire family.
After Leo was born, Forrest wasn’t immediately allowed to see his little boy. Then, a doctor approached Forrest and said, “There’s a real problem with your son.”
In Armenia, you have the option not to keep your child if it’s born with congenital medical conditions such as Down syndrome.
After going into the hospital room to see his wife, Forrest found out that Badalyan had already decided that she did not want the child. However, the firsttime father knew he wanted his son. After discussing things with his Badalyan, she gave Forrest an ultimatum: it was either his wife, or his son.
Forrest chose his son. One week later, Badalyan filed for divorce.
Now that the single father is alone, tending to his son in Armenia, he wishes to return back to his native country of New Zealand. However, the means of relocating and caring for Leo are costly. That is why Forrest started a charity for him and Leo called GoFundMe.
Over $100,000 has been raised so far.
Forrest told ABC News, “This really came out of the blue for me. I don’t have a lot, I have very little in fact. The goal is to raise enough for a year so I can get a part-time job so Leo doesn’t have to be in daycare and I can help care for him. He’s lost a lot in two weeks. It’d be different if he had his mommy.”
Way to go Forrest.
Son or spouse? This father was given a terrible ultimatum like no other. Read more about the difficult choice he had to make.