“He was just happy to be loved.”
Wood was a 12 year old boy with cerebral palsy when Judy first found out about him. Judy was approached about Wood after he had already been removed from his mother’s care in a village near Chiang Mai.
His mother had several boyfriends, “each partner really treated Wood worse than the one before.” Wood had been imprisoned in a bamboo cage under his house, barely being fed enough to survive.
“He was just hidden away- it’s a little bit typical of how disabled children are treated in some communities.”
When Judy finally met Wood, he weighed just 12kg and was living in a house with a carer. Judy tells me it wasn’t much better there either, despite the lady being paid to look after Wood.
The front of the one bedroom house was a motor bike repair shop and “generally not a very appropriate place.” The carer often left Wood to sleep in the same nappy, fed him poorly and did not love him in the way that any child deserves to be.
Judy helped out for a while, caring for Wood in the day and taking him back to the carer at night. “For those six months, we really saw Wood develop here, feeding him good food, making sure he was clean- he had a lovely big laugh!”
She wanted Wood to live at Hope Home permanently and she refused to take him back to a place where he was being neglected. However, due to changes in the law, Wood had to move to a home for older boys, where he later died.
“He had a gorgeous smile, he would laugh at appropriate things and he was a nice boy with a gentle nature.”