Like most evenings in the Netherlands, the wind swirled through the small attic room. Wooden beams creaked as the 9-year-old boy knelt and began to pray. Although he had prayed there many times before, this night was unlike other nights in the family home — just one floor beneath him, his mother was giving birth to his younger sister.
“In the middle of the night, I heard a doctor come,” he recalled years later. “I noticed something was wrong and that this was not going to be an easy thing. I was nervous, so I got out of my bed and went to my mom. (My parents) tried to keep me out of the room, but I wanted to be there.”
Over the next few hours, the young boy did what he could to help — he brought towels and hot water to the doctor, and then he’d go up to his attic room to pray.