Family of boy found after allegedly being beaten outside CPRI speaking
For the first time, the family of a 12-year-old boy found seriously injured outside London's Child and Parent Resource Institute last September, is speaking out.
CTV News can't identify the boy or his family, but his father wanted to share the challenges they face every day as they care for their son, who is learning to walk again at 12 years old.
His father says "We were devastated. I had dropped my son off he was happy.”
Last summer the Waterloo Region family made the difficult decision to send their son, who has severe autism, to the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) in London for two months.
But everything changed four days before he was supposed to come home.
“We got a phone call and I could hear my wife, she screeched and she said ‘What do you mean he's missing?’”
A terrifying hour passed before he was found, but it got even worse. When they finally saw him in hospital, they couldn't recognize him.
“His eyes were blackened and shut, he had blood various places, scrapes, his teeth were broken…He wasn't moving, he was on a ventilator. We cannot imagine how he survived.”
Gregory Simard, 24, then a CPRI staff member, has since been charged with attempted murder, forcible confinement and assaulting a police officer in the case.
His next court appearance is Friday, when a judge will determine whether Simard can be held criminally responsible.
Simard’s lawyer Gord Cudmore says “The facts of this particular tragic case is there’s no explanation as to why it could have taken place, which brought to mind the question of whether or not he was mentally ill at the time of the alleged events.”
In the meantime, a family has had their world turned upside down.
After 199 days in hospital, they're relieved he's home, but brain damage means he can no longer walk, feed himself or go to the bathroom alone.
He needs care around the clock and one person often isn't enough.
“We need people to understand what the impact to our lives, our family's lives and especially our son’s life has been and how far-reaching, how long this is going to continue going on.”
But he says he will forget never those who found his son within an hour that night, and the medical workers who helped him finally go home.