One strong-willed father took the responsibility of looking after his child with Down Syndrome even when his wife didn’t have the courage to do so. According to Bored Panda, 33-year-old Evgeny Anisimov from Russia became a single parent to his son Mishka after his wife left them because she could not come to terms with her son’s condition.
“I didn’t know what to do when I learned of the hypothesis that my son had Down Syndrome. I thought my task now was to turn off emotions, ignite thoughts, support my wife because I believed it would be more difficult for her. The results of the analysis we were promised in a few days, and until then, I decided not to say anything to her,” said the father alluding to the time his baby was diagnosed with the condition.
The news was devastating to Anisimov who had no information about the condition. Feeling helpless at the time, the father was overcome with emotions and cried inconsolably. “I remember that upon learning that my son has Down Syndrome, I left the hospital and cried,” recalled Anisimov, “but not for long,” he added.
The now single parent knew that his tears were not going to be a solution to his son’s genetic condition. Recognizing the need of the hour and the unconditional support his baby needed, Evgeny decided that he would do his best to raise his boy in the best way he knew.
Instead, he decided to do everything in his power to learn about the condition and to support his baby. “I was still with two arms, with two legs, my professional knowledge had gone nowhere. My determination, activity, curiosity, and so on—everything was with me. Everything happened as I planned, my son was born. But the child is special, his life and future destiny are already very significant,” said the father.
He continued, “And I’m roaring here! This is some kind of selfishness! Is it not fair? No, it is my responsibility. You did not have an amniocentesis—it is clear that the probability was low, but still. You wanted a child, so you took responsibility for it. After all, there are many options: autism, cerebral palsy, genetic mutations… And Down Syndrome is not the worst, as I learned later.”
The determined father prioritized his son over everything. Though his son was born at a time when his career just began, Anisimov was not ready to shift his focus from his son. “I couldn’t leave my son. He needed love and warmth,” said the father.
With his wife no more in the picture, Anisimov has to dedicate a lot of time to his child. However, Anisimov finds a lot of happiness in doing things for his child even when it is difficult. “I think routine is the most difficult thing for me. Every minute, I must do ordinary tasks—cooking food for my son, cleaning, giving him baths, and walking with him… Every task might seem simple, but doing it every day is very difficult. My mother helps me and I can have time for myself, which is very important. I would advise all husbands to help their wives because although parenting is very interesting, it’s also a very hard thing,” said the father.
Speaking of his decision to dedicate his life to his child, he said, “When I made the decision, I had not yet thought about the likelihood of an optimistic scenario. I thought: well, he’s going to enjoy the sunrise, I’m going to take him out to barbecue, he’s going to live his life. Yes, maybe he seems unhappy to someone, but he will have his own life.” He added, “At no time did I think of leaving my son in an orphanage, that would be inhumane.”
Though his wife opted to leave him and his son, Anisimov has no hard feelings. He referred to their past relationship as “good and trusting.” He also claimed she drifted away only because she was “scared.”
The father wants his story to inspire many others who are put in situations like his. He also insisted he should not be considered a hero for taking care of his own son. “I want all the articles about Mishka and me that are being published now to convey that idea to society and instill it. And I also want to support, inspire with my example those people who are or will be in the same situation as me. I try to communicate with those who are within reach, I correspond with those who are far away. I hope that those who have difficulties now, as it was for us, read about us. Have no fear! Everything will be fine!”