Let us kick of this New Year with absolutely inspirational and heart-warming news!
A McDonalds employee of 32 years, Russell O’ Grady has, at 50 years of age, retired. What makes this so special? Russell O’ Grady has Down’s Syndrome, a genetic condition, caused by the presence of an extra chromosome.
Despite the lack of work experience, Russell won hearts at work and became a firm favourite with his customers. Jobsupport, an Australian government initiative that helps people with intellectual disabilities to find paid employment, helped Russell when he was 18 years old.
Such is Russell’s attitude that, Jobsupport’s Assistant Manageress, Kate O’Grady told Daily Mail Australia “He’s an incredibly social person and can hardly walk down the street without people stopping to chat with him or buy him a beer at the club.” At work, Russell greeted everyone with a kind smile, cheerful attitude and showed exceptional dedication to his work.
Down syndrome (DS or DNS) is reflective of impairment to physical growth, a mild to moderate intellectual disability, and characteristic facial features. The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental ability of an 8- or 9-year-old child…
Source : Wikipedia
A life expectancy of between 50 to 60 years and with no cure for Down Syndrome, parents have to ensure that children are educated to improve their quality of life. God has in his wisdom, granted very special (genetically normal) people to be parents to these extra special people. These parents devote love and care but worry about inevitable circumstances, like death, or their physical impairment. Certainly financial resources may be in place but ensuring that they are loved unconditionally and appreciated, as Russell is, is always a worry.
My poem of Angels Heavenly Sent was inspired by two such special people in my life, Tyreese and Michael.
Due to lack of work opportunities, awareness and discrimination, many physically/mentally challenged people are unable to source employment. Well done to McDonalds for stepping up and serving as a benchmark for the times ahead.
Herein lies hope for these blessed parents and opportunities for their blessings.