FAMILY LOVE: Noel Davis with his new book, full of letters written to his son Mark, who has a severe intellectual disability.
FAMILY LOVE: Noel Davis with his new book, full of letters written to his son Mark, who has a severe intellectual disability. Rob Williams

Father's heart-warming book of letters for disabled son

A TOUCHING book by an Ipswich man reveals the heart-wrenching letters from a father to his brain-damaged son.

Letters to Mark, written by Uniting Church minister Noel Davis, offers a warts and all insight into raising a son with a severe intellectual disability.

Mark Davis was born a healthy baby in Fiji in 1964.

Three months later he became quite ill and was diagnosed with meningitis - a condition that causes infection around brain tissue.

He has never been able to speak, knows minor syllables and has limited understanding of what goes on around him.

Letters written from Noel to Mark over the years have been collated for Mr Davis' new book.

He reveals the harrowing moment he and wife Mary were told Mark had two-thirds brain damage.

"We were filled with dread," he said. "We were sitting on the edge of the bed and we both read the letter and howled.

"We have two older sons and they're business executives and they're very bright.

"There's no reason why Mark wouldn't have been the same."

The family went from Fiji to America for treatment.

"You grasp at straws in the hope that he'll be able to become more normal," Mr Davis said.

Mark was moved into full-time care at Ipswich when he was 22. Now 54, he is regularly visited by his ageing parents.

A launch for Letters to Mark, and Noel's other book, Effective Beliefs, will be held on November 11 from 2pm.

Phone 3202 3660 to RSVP.