PARENTS

Mum Who Refused To Abort Son After Doctors Said He'd Be 'Severely Disabled' Gives Birth To Healthy Baby

13/08/2015 12:00 BST

A first-time mum who refused to abort her son after doctors told her he would be "severely disabled" is over the moon after he was born perfectly healthy.

Gemma Rodgers said medics warned her that her 20-week-old foetus would be born "paralysed, incontinent and would have no quality of life".

Rodgers, 24, claims she was urged to terminate the pregnancy, but she refused the procedure at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Ciaran, now three, was born with no health problems and has now learnt to walk and been potty trained.

Rodgers, a student from Cumbernauld, Scotland, said: "A mother's instinct is always right and I knew from the moment I was told he would be disabled that I didn't want to give up hope on my son."

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Rodgers added: "I'm so glad I didn't [have an abortion] because [Ciaran] is perfect in every way.

"He is a real miracle and I am furious at the doctors who told me to get rid of him."

Rodgers claims she and her partner at the time Ross Kelter, 31, were warned their unborn baby boy had spina bifida - and they were told this could mean he would never walk, talk or go to the toilet for himself and would be a "burden" on them for his short life.

She said: "When we were told our baby would have no life at all, we were heartbroken.

"But I've always wanted to be a mum and just couldn't bear to terminate my pregnancy."

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Rodger's scan at 12 weeks

Ciaran was born by caesarean-section in May 2012 weighing a healthy 5lb 13oz. He spent his first three days undergoing medical tests.

Rodgers said: "Doctors said he would need a shunt fitted in his brain to drain any fluid and it was written into his medical notes that he had been born with the severest form of spina bifida."

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Rodgers said: "The moment I saw Ciaran walk was the best day of my life, it was amazing. Now as he gets older, I see he is just like any other child. He is a real miracle.

"I know doctors have a job to do, but they should be absolutely certain before telling someone to terminate a pregnancy.

"Regardless, I've got the greatest son in the world and our happy family feels complete."

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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde apologised to Rodgers, and released the following statement:

"This patient's ultrasound scan was performed by experienced consultant obstetricians skilled in fetal medicine who then provided further follow up care.

"With reference to NHS HIS (Healthcare Improvement Scotland) Pregnancy and Newborn Screening Standards and in line with normal practice a skilled member of staff, usually a consultant obstetrician, would discuss the findings from an ultrasound scan where a diagnosis of spina bifida had been made.

"During this consultation the clinician would make her aware that there are a range of physical or mental disabilities that may affect their baby including the most severe end of the spectrum of abnormalities together with the milder end of the spectrum of abnormalities.

"We would always acknowledge at this time that there is a degree of uncertainty and inaccuracy in attempting to predict the degree of mental or physical disability that the child will be affected with.

"Our staff also have a duty to discuss with the pregnant woman all of the available options which would include the offer of a termination. However, no pregnant woman would be pressured into making the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

"We have written to the patient addressing all the concerns she has raised and are sorry she remains dissatisfied with our full response."

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