THIS WEEK IN 1990: Happy ending for abandoned boys with Down’s Syndrome

Terry Burgess and his wife Maureen with four of their own five children and the two boys with Down's Syndrome they adopted. Left to right, back, Joseph, eight, Andrew, 16, Leigh, 14. Front, Christopher, two, Abigail, four, and Charlie, six

Six-year-old Charlie Burgess and his brother Chrissie, two, were like chalk and cheese – but they had a lot in common.

The story of their early life was an unhappy one.

Both were born with Down’s Syndrome and abandoned at birth.

Their adoptive parents, Maureen, 43, and Terry Burgess, 42, from the Isle of Wight, had a hard time persuading authorities they wanted to take them on.

The couple had lost their own Down’s Syndrome child when he was eight months old.

Although they knew they could never replace their son, David, the couple had strong feelings about helping to give a home to children like him.

Mrs Burgess said: ‘When people find out their child has Down’s Syndrome they give them up without getting to know them.

‘Neither Charlie’s nor Chrissie’s parents took them home. They were left at the hospital,’ she added.

Despite their lovable nature, the two faced difficulties in life and made additional demands on their family.

Although their brothers and sister were sure to grow up and leave home, Charlie and Chrissie may not have ever been able to look after themselves.

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