In 2010, a Down syndrome boy who had been starved and abandoned by the only person supposed to care for him was found in the attic of his home.
At the time, Giovanni “Govi” Eastwood was six years old but weighed the same as a toddler.
His mother, Rachel Perez, had been arrested for unpaid warrants, and the authorities had located her other children and transferred them to a secure location; however, Govi continued to hide in the attic of the house he lived with his family in Kansas.
According to Sergeant John Klingele, who was responsible for finding the child, “She (Perez) concocted some story about where Govi was. So they all ended up leaving and Govi was still there.”
The police officers had a sneaking suspicion that the boy was still inside the house, so they went back inside to have another look. After shouting up to find him, they soon came to the conclusion that he was hiding up in the attic.
Klingele recalled that the first time he met Govi, the boy was “like a kid out of a concentration camp, skin and bones.”
Govi, who only weighed 17 pounds, was unable to move, scarcely talked, and was covered in his own feces.
The lack of nutrients in the boy’s diet caused him to suffer from rickets, which caused his bones to become brittle and buckle, and it also caused the fatty tissue on his bottom to deteriorate. According to a report in the Kansas City Star, medical personnel stated that Govi wouldn’t have lived for very much longer if he hadn’t been saved that night.
The boy had been left up there without a blanket or toys, and the authorities suspected that his mother had placed him there in order to conceal him from them.
Because of how she treated her child, Perez is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence for attempted murder. The crime was motivated by her abuse of her child.
Six years later, the officers who had found Govi that day were reunited with him, and they were shocked to see the changes that had taken place in him.
‘The kid is magical’
Their great aunt and uncle, Stacy and Joe Eastwood, took in and adopted Govi and his two sisters. Joe Eastwood was Govi’s biological uncle. Recovery has been a slow process for Govi; at first, he would only sleep on the floor, and he worried he was going to get hit every time someone wanted to high-five him; however, now that he has a new family, he no longer has those fears, and he feels loved and safe.
Eastwood said, “The kid is magical. Everybody he comes in contact with, he just brings out a better person in them.”
When the officers who had helped save him went to visit him at the sheriff’s department in 2016, they saw a positive change in the 12-year-old boy and honored him by making him an honorary deputy and presenting him with a plaque.
Govi thanked the officers for saving his life that day by shaking their hands and expressing his gratitude to them.
“That boy is the hero. Seeing how big his heart is and his smile is… It’s really good to see him,” Klingele stated.
According to the information provided by his great aunt, Govi spent that night sleeping with his unique plaque.
It is incomprehensible that a parent could behave in such a manner with their own child. I give thanks to God that he was discovered when he was, and that he is now in the kind of loving household that he rightfully deserves to be in. Would you kindly share?