PJ Joseph MLA's youngest son Joe Kuttan, who was battling Down Syndrome, passed away recently.

Picture of a young boy
news Human Interest Friday, November 27, 2020 - 09:59

When Joe Kuttan was born 34 years ago, doctors had said he would not live for more than seven years. But fighting the odds of a rare congenital heart disease (tetralogy of fallot), and Down Syndrome, he continued to live in a house in Purapuzha like any other kid, writes Apu John Joseph, son of former Kerala Minister and present MLA PJ Joseph and Dr Santha Joseph, in a Facebook post about the veteran leader’s youngest son who passed away on November 20. The moving memoir written two days ago, has already been shared by thousands of people on Facebook.

“Joe Kuttan was born during the summer holidays, just before I was in Class 9. Mother was 43-year-old when she was carrying him. She was a gynecologist and hence had apprehensions that this (late pregnancy) might have complications and that the child may have Down Syndrome...When he was born in 1986, my mother knew about his condition. Doctors had said that he wouldn't live past seven years. But this was not told to my father or us,” writes Apu John.

We did not know he had Down Syndrome or the congenital heart defect, Apu says.

“Despite being a year old, he could not even stand up by holding on to something, nor did he have the growth the children of the same age had. It was then that my mother told us about the things. When he was one and half years old, his condition worsened. He stayed in an almost comatose state in a hospital in Kolenchery (in Ernakulam) for about two weeks. But just like a miracle, just like waking up from a sleep, he came back. Later, when he was 20 years old, this happened again. But then again he stunned everyone and walked back to life,” he writes.

Apu recalls how even the small growth of Joe Kuttan was a big celebration in PJ Joseph’s family. He started walking after turning four-years old. “For the first time when he walked without holding anything, it was a big celebration at home. Even when he started speaking, it was a great celebration. Each stage of his growth gave so much happiness to us,” Apu says.

“Mother was apprehensive of what was to become of Joe Kuttan after the times of father and her. But I had made a decision that I will take responsibility for Joe Kuttan after the time of my parents. But he has left us, without troubling any of us,” he writes, adding that he was someone who had no stinginess in expressing his love to others.

Apu also writes how his father PJ Joseph had started a trust in Joe Kuttan’s name, using the money that was inherited by the youngest son, which had lent a helping hand to many families. In the last one year alone, 850 poor bedridden patients in Thodupuzha in Idukki, were given help through the trust, he adds.

“God had greater plans for Joe Kuttan. The birth was instrumental in bringing relief to the lives of at least a few humble people. This is the greatest gift that our family got from god,” Apu adds.

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