Evgeny Anisimov became the happiest man in the world when his son, Misha, was born. But when the doctor told him, “I fear that your baby has Down Syndrome.” His excitement was replaced by confusion and worry.
When he heard those words, Evgeny was overcome with a whirlwind of emotions. In an interview with Bored Panda, the 33-year-old dad said he remembered leaving the hospital and crying after the doctors broke the news to them. But those tears soon stopped flowing. In fact, he felt embarrassed by his initial response.
“In my life, after all, nothing had changed, in general. I was still with two arms, with two legs, my professional knowledge had gone nowhere,” said Evgeny.
“My determination, activity, curiosity, and so on—everything was with me. Everything happened as I planned, my son was born. But the child is special, his life and future destiny are already very significant,” he added.
Evgeny realized he was being selfish and understood that the child was his responsibility and that he should be up to the task of taking care of him, no matter how difficult that may be.
When he went home that night, he booted up his computer and researched about Down syndrome, since he knew nothing about his son’s diagnosis.
“I learned that in Europe, people with Down Syndrome are well-socialized, can live and work independently. But the decision I had already made was not influenced by that,” he said.
Leaving his son behind never crossed his mind, but apparently, the opposite was true for his wife – she wanted to surrender their son to foster care.
He and his spouse have always had a “good and trusting” relationship. So when Evgeny learned of his wife’s plan, he convinced her they would overcome the situation together. Unfortunately, she wasn’t swayed, and that conflict eventually led to their separation.
“Now I understand that she was just scared at the time, she started to act according to the wrong scenario, and by then, the rubicon was already crossed and it was too late to retreat from the scenario,” he said.
Since then, Evgeny has raised Misha all on his own. He cooks food for him, bathes him, and tucks him in every night.
While every task is simple, the single dad admits doing it every day is difficult. Luckily for him, his mother helps him so he can have time for himself.
Evgeny also arranges various activities for Misha to aid his physical and mental development. Since he was five months old, the toddler has been attending swimming lessons every week.
He’s also started speech therapy. These are expensive, but Evgeny is thankful that many people have been helping them afford these activities.
“I understand that the future might bring more issues, but I hope that we will be able to overcome everything,” he said.
Evgeny is on a mission of increasing awareness about Down syndrome worldwide and helping families who are facing the same challenges of raising a child with special needs.
Since their story is slowly gaining global attention, Evgeny has this to stay.
“I want all the articles about Mishka and me that are being published now to convey that idea to society and instill it. And I also want to support, inspire with my example those people who are or will be in the same situation as me,” said the devoted dad.
“I try to communicate with those who are within reach, I correspond with those who are far away. I hope that those who have difficulties now, as it was for us, read about us. Have no fear! Everything will be fine!”
What an inspiring story! Evgeny is truly the definition of being a great father.
Follow Evgeny on Instagram to witness this father-and-son duo’s family life.