‘Miracle baby’ survives after mother refused abortion

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.”

Triplets thriving despite doctors pushing ‘selective termination’ on parents

A couple are celebrating the birth of triplet girls after resisting pressure from doctors to abort one of them.

Doctors advised Becky Sefton and Adam Balduckie to have a ‘selective termination’, which means choosing to end the life of at least one child in the womb, claiming their babies only had a 50% chance of survival if they didn’t.

But, the couple refused and welcomed Ellie, Everlyn and Ella into the world on 28 March.

Mother Becky told the Mail: “We thought if we lose one or all of them it means they weren’t meant to survive, but they came out kicking and screaming.”

“The birth was an incredible experience”, she added, revealing: “It was a miracle. The anaesthetist actually shouted ‘Jesus!’ when they came out screaming and crying.

“He said he couldn’t believe they were all crying because their lungs were not developed yet.”

Becky’s due date for the babies was 14 May but she was rushed to hospital on 27 March when she started having contractions.

The triplet girls were born just one day later, weighing just 3lbs (1.36kg) each.

Ellie, Everlyn and Ella had to remain in hospital for three weeks while doctors monitored their progress, but allowed their parents to take them home last week.

Now aged just one month old the girls are flourishing and developing well.

Becky, who also has seven-year-old daughter Poppy, and sons Alfie, five, and Freddie, two, said: “I’m so proud. It still hasn’t hit us yet that we have got three. A month down the line it hasn’t sunk in.

“My other three children didn’t see them for three weeks until we brought them home. They are all smitten with them and couldn’t believe it.

“They are really happy to have three more siblings.”

Father Adam said: “It has been quite strange and nerve-wracking worrying about whether Becky or the girls could catch something like coronavirus.

“The girls are doing brilliantly now. They are all laid back and don’t have distinct personalities yet.

“The kids are all pitching into help which is great. We’re just happy we’re all together.

“We’ve made a strict family routine so the triplets have fallen into that which makes life a lot easier for us.

“You have got to be organised with three newborns. It is exhausting but very rewarding.”

In 2015, former Olympian Jaime Halsey and her husband Steve Halsey were advised by doctors to abort two of the three babies after discovering Jamie was pregnant with triplets.

Thankfully, for Jaime and Steve abortion was never an option. They chose to keep all three baby girls, saying: “Other people have triplets and I wasn’t prepared to abort two healthy babies just to make life easier.”

The three of them turned five earlier this year and are enjoying lockdown life with their mother and father.

In England and Wales, 111 ‘selective termination’ procedures were performed in 2018 (the most recent figures available).

Last year, Norway’s parliament voted to restrict ‘selective termination’ abortions by introducing legislation requiring women pregnant with twins, triplets or more to obtain permission from a medical board if they want to abort one foetus or more.

Doctors in the country had warned that, aside from the major ethical concerns about aborting one twin, ‘selective termination’ procedures carry major health risks, both to the mother, and to the surviving twin.

Dr Birgitte Heiberg Kahrs, a specialist in fetal medicine at St Olav’s Hospital in Oslo, said: “We have not found any medical benefit from this.

“On the contrary, it exposes the second child in the womb to danger as the abortion risk increases.”

Boy with ‘no brain’ continues to defy expectations after parents refused abortion five times

An eight-year-old born with spina bifida and only 2% of his brain has joined the weekly #ClapForOurCarers event as he continues his remarkable progress.

Doctors did not expect Noah Wall to live more than a few days and advised his parents, Shelley and Rob Wall, to consider abortion on five separate occasions.

But they refused, wanting to give their baby boy the chance of a healthy life, and Noah has been defying expectations ever since.

Describing the day Noah was born Shelly told the Mail: “The day he was born was amazing. We waited with baited breath.”

The couple were admitted to hospital a week before Noah was due to be born because the pressure on his brain was becoming dangerous.

There were 12 doctors in the operating theatre as experts performed a caesarean section and as Noah came into the world, he gave the doctors a sign.

Rob said: “He let out this amazing scream. We knew there was power there.”

Scans of Noah’s brain shortly after his birth show he had just 2% of his brain.

Miraculously, he kept on growing and so did his brain.

By the age of three, his brain had grown to a remarkable 80 percent of what it should be and is now nearly fully-functional, leaving medical professionals stunned.

Last year, Noah, who is paralysed from the waist down, moved his foot for the first time after undergoing pioneering therapy designed to alter the way the brain sends messages to his limbs.

Now the family sends regular updates to the doctors who told them Noah wouldn’t make it.

Shelly said: “He’s extraordinary. We send them emails and pictures and we take them presents at Christmas time.”

Every year, Noah gives out hundreds of Christmas presents to staff and patients at Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle – the hospital he was born in. With more therapy, it is hopeful he will one day deliver gifts on foot.

Rob said on the documentary, The Boy Without a Brain: “We were offered termination five times. It was never an option for us. To me, we wanted to give Noah that chance of life.”

“To hear his brain’s almost back to normal is beyond belief,” Shelly added. “Rob and I broke down when we heard the news. It was like a dream. I’ve never known anything like it. Even the consultants were in tears. Every time we see the doctors, they just shake their head. They’re just amazed at what he can do.”

Claire Nicholson, Noah’s consultant neurosurgeon, said in 2016: “He has surprised us through his life so far. He’s completely remarkable.”

She added that Noah teaches the medical profession that “you can’t ever know, doesn’t matter how many statistics you throw at something”.

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

Estimates have predicted that 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with spina bifida, each year, are aborted.However, pro-life campaigners are hopeful that now the surgery has been made routinely available on the NHS the number of unborn babies terminated each year will fall.

Love my NHS #ClapForOurCarers sending everyone not just in the NHS but everyone that’s helping #ThankyouNHS

Posted by Noah Wall Model on Thursday, March 26, 2020

Baby girl who had surgery in the womb celebrates first birthday, but abortion prejudices remain

A baby girl who had pioneering spina bifida surgery whilst still being in her mother’s womb has celebrated her first birthday at home.

After diagnosing Elouise with the condition last year, doctors offered her parents a termination saying the outcome was “bleak”.

Her parents, Kieron and Bethan Simpson, refused to have an abortion and now Elouise, who is described as “happy and smiley” by her mother, is thriving.

The Simpsons were overjoyed when they found out they were expecting a baby, but were left disheartened when a midwife discovered their baby had a disability during the 20-week scan.

However, two days later, a specialist at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) told the couple about the possibility of a ground-breaking new surgery.

“There was a bit of hope in that darkness,” Bethan said.

The mental health nurse underwent a four-hour operation at 25 weeks, during which her womb was opened and a series of tiny stitches were used to close the gap in Elouise’s spine.

Bethan and Elouise were among the first in the UK to undergo the procedure in January 2019. The successful surgery was funded by a charitable trust between UCLH and Great Ormond Street Hospital, before the NHS made it routinely available in April last year.

Bethan said her daughter’s regular progress checks had been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak but said Elouise is developing normally and is thriving at home.

She told the BBC: “We certainly didn’t expect we’d be marking today in the middle of a pandemic.”

The couple say their priority now is to “shield” Elouise while keeping home life “normal and fun.”

Bethan also raised concerns that pregnant women are being misinformed on spina bifida.

“Since becoming a mum I’ve had the chance to reflect on that traumatic time. My only option was to fight. But most importantly, it was about being informed.”

“There is a lot of negative information around spina bifida.”

“Without being fully informed as parents, Elouise would not be where she is now.”

Her concerns were shared by a mother who described the relentless pressure she faced to have an abortion after doctors diagnosed her baby with spina bifida last year.

Natalie Halson, who refused an abortion ten times, said doctors “made out like an abortion was my only option and explained that if I went ahead with the pregnancy my baby would be wheelchair bound and have no quality of life.”

“When I got off the phone I went and did tonnes of research and found out that there were options for my little girl – I felt suddenly really angry that they had made out I had none.”

Similar concerns have been raised by parents of children with Down’s syndrome.

A survey of over 1,400 parents revealed many are being misinformed and misled over the condition and in some cases are being pressured into abortion only days away from giving birth.

One mother, whose child is now three-years-old, said medical professionals told her they could leave her baby with Down’s syndrome to die if it was struggling after birth.

Under UK legislation, babies affected by Down’s syndrome and spina bifida can be aborted right up to birth.

This includes Northern Ireland, where an extreme abortion law has been imposed on the province.

In England and Wales – where abortion is available up until birth if a baby has a disability – people with disabilities are unjustly and disproportionately targeted by abortion legislation.

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

Additionally, estimates predict 80% of unborn babies diagnosed with spina bifida, each year, are aborted.

Northern Ireland had a very different approach and embraced a culture of welcoming and supporting people with this disability 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 the same year, only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales.

Northern Ireland MLAs have called for an opportunity to introduce new legislation to repeal the new extreme abortion regime.

Additionally, Right To Life UK has launched its Save Lives: Repeal campaign urging Northern Ireland’s politicians to save lives by repealing the extreme abortion regime.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson has said: “The revelations of women who experience daily the lives of those with Down’s syndrome, spina bifida and other disabilities should be listened to.”

“Currently, women are making life or death decisions influenced by outdated and prejudiced views on disability.

“Expectant women are sometimes not given accurate information about the reality of life with these conditions and  there are stories of doctors suggesting ‘abortion is the only option’.” 

“We call on MLAs in Northern Ireland to save lives by bringing forward legislation as soon as possible to repeal the extreme abortion regime which allows for disability-selective abortion right up to birth.”