Haripal Swendsen, an Indian boy brought to the United States by Mother Teresa and adopted by a Healdsburg couple, has died, the Press Democrat is reporting.
Swendsen was 31, wheelchair-bound and had suffered strokes and a variety of other illnesses ever since he was thrown into a well by his Indian parents who thought that he was possessed, according to the paper.
It turned out that the three-year-old had gone into convulsions after contracting measles. Haripal broke many bones in the fall, but survived and his cries for help were heard by nuns, who rescued him and brought to live in an orphanage in New Delhi.
That’s where he met Mother Teresa, who eventually helped the boy find a new home. Healdsburg residents Mark and Marlene Swendsen were originally asked to care for Haripal for a short while, but later urged by Mother Teresa to adopt the child.
A funeral mass will be said for Haripal Swendsen this Sunday 2pm at St. John’s Catholic Church, 217 Fitch Street.