Baby boy born with severely swollen head due to rare condition is defying the odds five weeks after birth after parents refuse abortion

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.”

According to the Hydrocephalus Association, hydrocephalus affects around one in 1,000 babies, making it as widespread as Down’s syndrome and more common than spina bifida.

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.

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.

New Zealand’s tiniest baby to celebrate first birthday against the odds, after parents reject abortion

A baby girl given just a 30% chance of survival has beaten the odds and will soon celebrate her first birthday after her parents rejected abortion.

Amairah Makan weighed just 490g when she was born by emergency caesarean section at 29 weeks, making her one of New Zealand’s tiniest babies to survive premature birth.

The Auckland tot is now healthy and happy, though nearly half the average weight for her age at just under 5kg, as she approaches her first birthday on 25 February.

Amairah’s mother and father, Kainat and Piyush, were told at the 20-week pregnancy ultrasound scan that their daughter wasn’t growing and that the baby’s prognosis “didn’t look good“.

At that point, doctors told the first-time parents they faced either a delivery at 30 weeks or a stillbirth and offered them an abortion.

Kainat told New Zealand news website Stuff that it was “was the biggest shock” of their lives.

Determined to give their daughter a chance, they declined the abortion.

By 26 weeks, Kainat developed preeclampsia and was hospitalised until Amairah was born weighing just enough to be cared for by the neonatal doctors in Auckland Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

Amairah’s rough first year continued and she suffered from a range of medical problems, including chronic lung disease, respiratory distress syndrome, and retinopathy. She also had two surgeries for bowel obstruction and developed multiple infections, needed multiple blood transfusions, ultrasound scans, X-rays and MRI.

Kainat said: “When she was born, I didn’t even see her, I didn’t even hug her, they just took her. We had our first cuddle 12 days after she was born.”

Amairah is now thriving under the care of developmental therapist and dietician.

One month ahead of Amairah’s first birthday her mother exclaimed: “She’s such a happy child, she’s smiling all the time at strangers, she barely cries”.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has championed a Government Bill to introduce extreme abortion legislation to New Zealand. The Bill will introduce abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities such as Down’s syndrome or cleft lip and palate.

Currently, there is a 20-week time limit for disability-selective abortions in New Zealand law.

The proposed legislation will see this time limit removed and abortion for babies prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities will be available up until birth, with the approval of a single health practitioner.

A large number of parents have publicly voiced their concerns about the harmful impact this Bill will have on people with Down’s syndrome.

Last month, thousands of people gathered in the New Zealand’s capital city to urge their political leaders to defend human life ahead of an expect vote on the extreme abortion bill later this year.

Baby girl born at 24 weeks with hands the size of a penny thriving at home

A baby girl given just a 5% chance of survival has beaten the odds and is now thriving at home with her parents Kym and Ryan.

With hands smaller than 1p coins, Isabella Evans was the smallest premature baby to be born in the UK, in over 15 years, at her birth on 14 June 2018.

Isabella had to be delivered prematurely by emergency caesarean after complications at 24 weeks, weighing just 12oz (340g), leaving doctors to fear the worst.

For the first week of Isabella was placed in bubble wrap to keep her warm and an incubator to help her breathe. Her parents could only hold their daughter in blankets for five minutes at a time.

And, at just three-weeks-old, the ‘little fighter’ underwent two life-saving operations including surgery for a ruptured bowel.

Isabella refused to give in and fought for six months in order to go home.

She has recovered well and has been enjoying life at home for just over a year, now weighing 13lb 7oz – the size of a healthy baby.

Her mother told the Mail Online: “Realistically, she shouldn’t be here. There were so many times we could have lost her. But she never stopped fighting.”

She added: “She is crawling and starting to stand up, and has a great appetite. Her favourite is a cheese and avocado sandwich. She’s so happy, and has a smile for everyone she meets. It’s incredible how far she’s come.”

Kym and Ryan are grateful for the care and support Isabella received from the NHS and its neonatal team.

Ryan said: ”There are no words for the gratitude I have. They have saved my daughter’s life countless times and I’d be nothing without her.”

Despite the fact that increasing numbers of babies born prematurely in the UK survive, in practice abortion is in most cases up to 24 weeks.

In fact, the survival rate for extremely premature babies has doubled over the past decade, prompting new guidance allowing doctors to try to save babies born as early as 22 weeks into a pregnancy.

The previous clinical guidance, drafted in 2008, included a presumption against attempting to provide life-saving treatment to a baby born before 23 weeks.

On Sunday, two prominent pro-life politicians called for a review of the current time limits after new evidence emerged suggesting that unborn babies at just 13 weeks gestation could be suffering pain as they are being aborted.

A spokesperson for Right to Life UK Catherine Robinson said:

“Parliament should urgently revisit abortion time limits. It has been over a decade since they last debated fully.

“Independent polling from Savanta ComRes shows that 70% of women in the UK want to see the time limit for abortion reduced to 20 weeks or below. Our current abortion time limit is way out of line with the rest of Europe where the most common abortion time limit is 12 weeks.

“It’s time that our laws were brought into line with public opinion, modern science and the rest of Europe.”