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ProLife Corner for January

Posted by nechc on January 21, 2009

ProLife Corner for January by Karen Walsh

            God bless Mr. Vander Woude. Maybe you’ve all heard his story already, but I cannot pass over it myself. I heard about it, not from the media (I don’t have television) but from a friend who lives nearby and knew him and his family. In fact, I had met Mr. Vander Woude’s son from a distance, when I visited my friend in Virginia five years ago. His son was serving Mass as an altar boy—and doing a splendid job—despite the fat that he has Down Syndrome. I was impressed! As many of you know, I have a beautiful daughter Anne, who has Down Syndrome, too.
            Apparently, Mr. Vander Woude was extremely devoted to his son, the youngest of their seven children. The ‘boy’ is now 20 years old. “Never saw them apart” was the comment from my friend, Brenda. “This Dad was so devoted – he just loved his son!” I had heard that there was an accident a little while back. Somehow, because the cover to their septic tank was exposed, the son stepped on the cover and it flipped, and the boy fell into the 7 or 8 foot deep septic tank. His dad was nearby, and his reaction to seeing this happen was unbelievably heroic— he dived into the septic tank to save his son! It took about 20 minutes for his wife and another man on the outside to pull the boy out while his father held him up to them (remember – a 20 year old “boy”) – and by the time they got him out, the father had perished in the septic tank. Drowned in excrement. Saving his son with Down syndrome.
            “Dear God, what a hero!” was my first thought when I was told what had happened. My second thought was: “Wow, in a day and age when nine out of ten parents throw their Down Syndrome (fetal) children INTO a septic tank through abortion!”
            Mr. Vander Woude’s son survived I am told. What a blessed young man. What an unbelievably loving, heroic dad he had. Mr. Vander Woude, Please pray for us and for an end to this heart wrenching holocaust that is abortion in our nation.

From Mary: According to Catholic News Agency (found on EWTN) September 16, Thomas Vander Woude was a former Athletic Director of Christendom College. His wife Mary Ellen and a workman at the home witnessed and tried to help. Their Down Syndrome son Joseph suffered Pneumonia but was expected to recover. His oldest son Thomas (according to Catholic Herald) is a pastor in Alexandria, VA  and his other 5 sons are married.



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