Having a baby is filled with expectations. If you already know the gender you still wonder who he or she will look like. Babies bring happiness to all. Watching a baby sleep is one of the most heart-warming experiences. When the final day comes, everyone is excited and just waiting to finally meet the baby.
It was supposed to be one of those happy days for Ernest and Anneke Robinson. Their son Matthew was born on September 23, 1988. When Matthew was born, his parents were given stunning news. Because of lack of oxygen, Matthew was born with severe brain damage. He was also born blind and paralyzed from the neck down. His parents could not believe what the doctors were saying.
They saw their son and they were determined to help him as much as they could. The doctors did not give them much hope. They said Matthew would only live a few hours. To everyone’s surprise, he defied the odds and lived 10 years. He filled his family with joy in those ten years. His parents were very grateful that he could outlive the doctor’s `predictions.
The sad that Ernest and Anneke finally had to lay their son to rest in 1999. Matthew had given them many days of happiness. They wanted to leave a reminder of him and the incredible life he had lived. They hoped that it would be a symbol for everyone. A symbol that would bring hope instead of grief. Ernest decided to create a one-of-a-kind tombstone that would become a symbol of hope. It would bring inspiration around the world. On top of Matthew’s grave, he had a sculpture done of the young boy. He is reaching up and out of his wheelchair. He’s finally free of his earthly burdens and his wheelchair.
Matthew’s gravesite has been visited by millions. They can find peace, hope, and happiness there. Since Matthew’s departure, his parents have worked to help others in similar situations. They founded “Ability Found” 13 years ago. It is a charity that provides necessary equipment for disabled people who would not be able to afford it otherwise.
This charity repairs and refurbishes wheelchair and orthopedic equipment. Ernest found that there were many people diagnosed with a condition that required this special equipment. Many of them were not able to pay for it. Others would be eligible for one wheelchair every 5 years but would outgrow it in 3. They continue to help others and it was all inspired by Matthew. A boy who took 10 years to grow his wings.