A baby boy born with a swollen head is defying doctors who told his mother to terminate her pregnancy because he wouldn’t survive birth.
Doctors did not expect Lorenzo Pontone to survive when they diagnosed him with severe hydrocephalus – a condition which causes fluid to build up in the skull, making the brain swell – at his 20-week scan and offered his parents an abortion.
However, the couple wanted to give Lorenzo a chance – despite pressure from doctors to abort.
His father, Fernando Pontone said: “To me it sounded like the first thing they said to do was terminate.
“In the end, we just didn’t think it was fair. He was halfway to being born. He had arms and legs and a face. We couldn’t kill him.”
His mother, Nichaela Pontone said: “While we considered it [abortion] because doctors said it was the best thing to do, we decided to let nature take its course because he was half way there.”
Lorenzo was delivered, on 8 January, by caesarean section after 36 weeks because his head was growing so quickly.
Fernando said: “They took him out and rushed him straight to this little table, as it took a good few minutes to get him round.
“It felt like an eternity until we heard him cry and the tears of joy started.”
During the first two weeks of his life, Lorenzo has needed brain surgery, support with his breathing and was unable to close his eyes.
However, the little fighter has since gone on to defy the odds and amaze his parents and doctors by being able to breathe and close his eyes independently.
He has also had a tube, known as a shunt, inserted into his head which will drain the fluid from his brain down into his stomach, meaning that the swelling on his head will reduce with time.
Nichaela and Fernando don’t know how the condition will affect their son long term but are proud of their “miracle” baby for even surviving birth.
Fernando said: “I’m so glad we didn’t go through with a termination…
“As soon as we saw him we fell in love with him. I couldn’t stop shivering, we were crying our eyes out. We’re so proud of him.”
The couple hope to move Lorenzo to the Huddersfield-based Hospice when he is discharged from hospital, as a halfway house before eventually bringing him home.
The little boy has been introduced to his brothers and sister, Koby, 12, Lily, 10, Thomas, eight, Bella, five and Gino, 10 months.
Nichaela said: “He’s brilliant, he’s very demanding with food and his brothers and sisters just love him.”
Nichaela has created a Facebook group detailing Lorenzo’s battle with the condition.
She told the Mirror: “I want to raise awareness about hydrocephalus because I’ve spoken to quite a few other mums about it that have had kids with it or similar brain conditions.
“It’s not well known and I also want to show that doctors aren’t always right when they give you worst case situations.”
She added: “He’s proved a lot of doctors wrong so far. They said he would not be able to breathe on his own, they said he would have seizures. He hasn’t had any seizures since he was born.”
Lorenzo’s story is similar to that of many other babies, including seven-year-old Noah Wall whose parents were asked on five separate occasions to consider abortion.
Doctors gave Noah Wall, who was born with just 2% of his brain and paralysed from the waist down, just a few days left to live.
However, Noah moved his foot for the first time after undergoing pioneering therapy in December.