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Boy born with rare condition defies expectations after parents refused abortion

A baby boy born with part of his brain protruding from his skull is thriving after his parents rejected pressure to abort him.

Doctors did not expect Ozzie Gordon to survive more than a few days when they discovered the condition.

They advised his parents, Omobola and Checotah Gordon, to consider an abortion. But, wanting to give their son a chance, they refused and now Ozzie continues to defy expectations.

After refusing abortion, Ozzie’s parents even had to create a palliative care plan in the final weeks of pregnancy.

On 1 October, 2018, Ozzie was born weighing a healthy 7lb 5oz.

However, he had an encephalocele – a rare congenital defect where a portion of brain tissue and associated structures are outside the skull.

The condition can in some cases be fatal at birth, but Ozzie beat the odds. Two days after his birth, Ozzie was discharged from the hospital and allowed to go home with his mother and father with the support of hospice nurse visits.

At four months old, Ozzie underwent a successful surgery to remove his encephalocele.

Despite being delayed in his development and having some treatable health conditions, Ozzie is now thriving and celebrated his first birthday last October.

His parents call Ozzie a “miracle” and are determined to give their smiley baby a normal life.

Omobola decided to share the families journey on Instagram to help other families who have children with special needs or need support following a similar pregnancy scan diagnosis to their own. 

She said: “I’m glad that I’ve decided to share Ozzie’s story and tell people about what we were going through with him because the emotional support we have received has completely surpassed my expectations.

“It is amazing to see strangers from other parts of the world reach out to me and say how much they are supporting us and praying for Ozzie. That feeling is just unbeatable.”

She added: “We have had other special needs parents some that we know and some that we don’t know reach out to us and express their gratitude of us doing the right thing by Ozzie and being there for him and loving him the way we do.”

“We hope that he can be a vessel to touching people’s hearts and being an example that miracles do happen and special children deserve just as much love and care as other children.”

The NHS estimates that encephalocele will affect between 1 and 2 in every 10,000 births.

Ozzie is just one of many babies who have defied the odds.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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