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One of UK’s youngest COVID-19 patients, born 3 months early, celebrates first birthday

Theo Stobbs, born in Burnley, Lancashire at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic last April, turned one this week

Theo was born at 27 weeks and at 2lb 4oz weighed “less than a standard supermarket pineapple”. Images of him wearing a white nappy and a tiny woolly hat as he was lifted out of an incubator at just four weeks old went viral.

Theo’s mother, 34-year-old Kirsty said: “I was in complete shock, I never expected Theo to be born that early….My water just went suddenly”.

Two steroid injections were given to his mother within hours of  her waters breaking, allowing his lungs to mature a crucial amount prior to birth.

Theo struggled during the first nine weeks after birth, and underwent three blood transfusions to raise his oxygen levels. 

Kirsty said “I didn’t tell everyone Theo had been born; until he was on the front page of The Guardian”.

“A symbol of hope”

“When I hear that the picture of Theo is referred to as a ‘symbol of hope’ it fills my heart with joy…It was such a rubbish time for everyone, including us, but it got us through knowing that people were looking at us and finding some hope”.

Unfortunately, Kirsty tested positive for COVID-19 in October, and believes she passed it onto Theo via breastfeeding.

“I just went into complete meltdown, I couldn’t stop crying”.

“I just kept thinking about his lung condition and the fact that Covid attacks the lungs”.

“I just wanted someone to see him straight away and tell me he would be ok”.

Thankfully both Theo and his mother recovered from the virus.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: “The heartwarming story of Theo’s survival after a difficult premature birth and a battle with COVID-19, reminds us that inside or outside the womb, life is precious and worth fighting for. Thankfully, even though Theo was born prematurely, he is surviving and thriving. However, other babies in the womb at the same gestation can have their lives ended by abortion up to the point of birth if diagnosed with a disability”.

“The survival rate for babies born prematurely is improving all the time, and the discrimination at the heart of our abortion law is impossible to ignore”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.