There is a saying that God knows who to give handicapped children to. I believe this to be true. I am blessed with five healthy and intelligent offspring: three children and two grandchildren (well Joshua is only 19 days old but his grandmother can already see the superior intelligence in his eyes - lol) and I honestly do not know how, or even if, I would have coped with a handicapped child. I can only admire those parents with physically or mentally challenged children who continue cherishing and nurturing them year after year.
Such are the parents of Rick Hoyt. Rick was born on 10 January 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. Rick suffered severe brain injuries during his birth that left him with cerebral palsy and unable to speak. The doctors advised his parents to have him institutionalised when he was 9 months old, but they refused to send their son away. They soon realised that there was nothing wrong with his intellect an his mother started teaching him the alphabet.
At the age of 12, Rick learned to use a special computer to communicate, by using movements from his head. His first "spoken" words on the computer were "Go Bruins!" and his parents realised that he loves sports. When he asked his father to help him to take part in a 5 mile run to raise funds for a young, injured sportsman, his father agreed and so started "Team Hoyt".
Dick and Rick compete together in marathons and triathlons. When they started, Dick was already 40 years old and 33 years later, they are still going. for the marathons and the running leg in the triathlons, Dick pushes Rick in a specially built wheelchair. When cycling, Dick uses a specially built bicycle and for swimming Dick pulls Rick in an inflatable boat, behind him.
Rick also attended Boston University after completing his school carreer and earned a college degree in special education. Dick suffered a heart attack in 2003 but recovered and is back in Team Hoyt.
I could not possibly pen down all the achievements of this father and son in one post. Their story is told on various sites, but the best one I could find was here. It is truly an inspiration to read about the sheer love and dedication of these parents to their child and his own determination to achieve the most he can. Please visit their site and read about them - you will not be sorry.