Human Interest

Couple refuses abortion for baby with hydrocephalus: ‘He’s proved a lot of doctors wrong’

hydrocephalus

A United Kingdom couple is sharing the story of their son Lorenzo and the beauty of his life after learning he had hydrocephalus while he was still in the womb. Hydrocephalus is a condition that causes fluid to build up in the brain. Lorenzo’s mother was 20 weeks pregnant when the doctors diagnosed him and quickly offered abortion.

“The doctor said there was a good chance he could be stillborn or be blind, deaf, have seizures constantly or not move,” explained Lorenzo’s mother Nichaela Pontone to Examiner Live.

“To me it sounded like the first thing they said to do was terminate,” Pontone’s husband Fernando added. “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.”

Despite the doctors’ grim prognosis that their baby wouldn’t survive, Fernando and his wife Nichaela went against the advice to abort, and on January 8, 2019, baby Lorenzo was born via C-section at 36 weeks gestation. His head was swollen with fluid.

 

“They took him out and rushed him straight to this little table, as it took a good few minutes to get him round,” said Fernando. “It felt like an eternity until we heard him cry and the tears of joy started.”

Lorenzo has already fought his way through surgery to place a shunt in his head to drain the fluid, which will help the swelling go down. He also needed to undergo a colostomy just ten hours after birth when doctors discovered he was missing an anus. In addition, he needed assistance with breathing and was unable to open his eyes, but has been improving and amazing the doctors. His parents hope he will be moved to a halfway house after discharge from the hospital and then be able to go home with his parents and his five older siblings.

“He’s brilliant, he’s very demanding with food and his brothers and sisters just love him,” said Nichaela. She said he likes having his face stroked and will smile.

READ: Told to abort, family of baby with hydrocephalus glad they chose life

“Those moments mean loads,” she said. “It brings me total happiness and joy. It makes me so proud of him for fighting. 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.”

The parents are hoping to raise awareness for hydrocephalus because they want other parents facing such a diagnosis to remember that doctors can be wrong and that they often give parents the worst case scenario of the child’s diagnosis.

 

Live Action News has shared other stories of babies diagnosed prenatally with hydrocephalus whose parents refused abortion.  Eight-year-old Colton Mckinstry‘s parents were told seven times to abort him because he would be a “vegetable.” He underwent surgery to install a shunt in his brain and has been shocking the doctors ever since his birth. Today, Colton is a happy, fun-loving boy who attends school and loves playing with his sisters.

Ella-Jai Harvey’s parents were told to abort her just five weeks before her due date because doctors discovered she had hydrocephalus. Her parents refused and began a fundraiser for the Infirmary’s “Tiny Lives” fund to provide assistance to sick newborns and premature babies.

Each of these parents is thankful that they didn’t listen to the doctors’ advice to abort, and are grateful for their children’s lives. While the Pontone family is struggling with being apart as the parents take turns at home with the other children or at the hospital with Lorenzo, they are looking forward to the day when Lorenzo will come home and they will all be together.

Late-term abortions do occur in the United States for eugenic reasons when a child is diagnosed with a health condition. However, it’s important to remember that many health conditions once considered terminal for newborns can be treated, and children with these conditions, like hydrocephalus, can lead happy healthy lives.

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