A 19-week-old boy has been hailed a “miracle baby” after he was born with his intestines outside of his body and overcame multiple surgeries to defy the odds and survive.
Doctors didn’t expect Jesse to survive and advised his mother, Sami Jo Quinn, to consider an abortion.
The hairdresser from North Wales was also warned they wouldn’t be able to spot any potential heart defects until 28 weeks and by then it would be “too late to terminate.”
But, despite the warnings, Sami and her partner Luke Robinson wanted to give their baby a chance and went ahead with the pregnancy.
Following corrective surgery at just 10 hours old, and other operations since then, Jesse is now thriving at 19 weeks of age and has no heart conditions.
Sami told the Daily Star: “When we found out about the condition, we were worried he wouldn’t survive.
“But we wanted to give our baby a chance.”
“I’m so glad I continued with the pregnancy. He’s doing really well and he’s truly a fighter.”
Sami was referred to a specialist for further tests after her 12-week scan revealed a gap where the baby’s umbilical cord should have been.
Two weeks later, Sami saw an ultrasound scan showing her baby’s intestines were growing outside its body. The specialist diagnosed Jesse with the rare condition gastroschisis.
Recalling the experience Sami said: “Me and Luke were called into a room by a doctor and midwife, who told me the baby had gastroschisis.
“They told us the baby was at a high risk of complications in labour.
“They handed us a booklet and told us that the condition is linked to heart syndromes such as Edwards Syndrome, a genetic disorder where the baby is born with a heart defect.
“But they wouldn’t be able to diagnose this condition until the baby was 28 weeks, and by then it would be too late to terminate.
“They told us to consider aborting the baby because it might not survive.
“I felt crushed.
“I considered the advice, but I couldn’t bear the thought of what if.”
At 16 weeks pregnant, Sami suffered a heavy bleed and her partner, Luke Robinson, rushed her to the emergency department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
The couple were later told by a sonographer that Sami’s body had “tried to miscarry but failed”.
Sami said: “I was determined to keep the baby, but I was terrified.”
Thankfully, good news followed. In October 2019, at 24 weeks pregnant Sami found out her baby didn’t have any heart defects.
However, at 35 weeks pregnant and one week before she was due to be induced Jesse stopped moving.
Sami was taken for an emergency, but successful, caesarean-section. Jesse was born weighing just 4lbs 9oz (2.07kg).
His mother said: “The baby was delivered crying, which was the biggest relief.
“But he was whisked away before we could hold him.”
The same morning, an ambulance blue-lighted Jesse to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where he underwent an emergency operation to place his intestines back inside his body.
Sami says: “I was heartbroken I couldn’t be with him. I didn’t see him for 36 hours. I hadn’t even been able to hold him.”
The next day, Sami was able to hold her baby for the first time.
But soon after, they had to take him into intensive care as he couldn’t breathe for himself.
After four weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit and another operation, Sami and Luke were allowed to take Jesse home.
Further complications followed, including an additional seven days in an intensive care unit and a nine-day hospital stay.
But the little fighter pulled through.
Now, Jesse is 19 weeks old and healthy.
Sami says: “He has no belly button and a large scar, but it gets fainter every day.
“He’s my miracle baby and I’m so glad he survived.”