News of the Special Needs Group in Malibay, Philippines

This is a group which was formed for the support of families who have a child with ‘special needs’ more than 7 years ago. The families are helped to get therapy for their children and they go to a Centre where they receive physical therapy, occupational therapy and special education. This is provided free for these indigent people but we help with the travelling expenses to get to the Centre. We also arrange for Doctors visits when necessary. They meet weekly and exchange news while the children play with toys suitable for their age and ability.

Amboy was one of the first children to be part of the group.
He had a lot of problems besides skeletal and breathing disabilities and was often sick. However he was loved into life each day and received devoted care from his parents and siblings. When this child breathed his last on Friday April 13th., there was great grief amongst family, friends and all who had known him, but this was tempered by their faith and the knowledge that he would no longer have to struggle to breathe and support his life. 
The members of the group came to support and share memories with Amboy’s mother. Eight therapists and staff from the Centre made a difficult journey through thick traffic to show their love and care for this child. There was a mass for the family on one day and at another time memorial photos were shown.
When Amboy was interred 8 days later, his grieving mother was able to demonstrate her deep peace and faith, with the words ‘we will miss him, but I know we have our own angel in heaven’.
 Ferlie Ann was a child with Downs Syndrome and an inoperable Heart Defect. When she died last month, the group were equally supportive and many went together to sympathise with her parents. She was 6 years old. Her mother told me that when she was born, the doctors told her she would only live for about 2 years. “See” she said, “ we have had her for 6 years”! This very happy outgoing child brought such joy to all she met. 
Sr. Margaret Ann 
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