A British couple whose unborn son was diagnosed with a rare condition almost certain to take his life has rejected abortion and named their child Gabriel, meaning “miracle.”
Samantha and Dennis Kerr received the diagnosis that their son has ectopia cordis after a scan 12 weeks into Samantha’s pregnancy, according to DailyMailOnline. The news of Gabriel’s condition, which has a ten-percent survival rate, was especially devastating since the Kerrs had just experienced a miscarriage.
“He is our little miracle and we are willing him to survive,” said Samantha.
“We were given the decision to terminate the pregnancy or continue with it, whatever we decided it was going to be heart-breaking,” she said. “'He is moving around and is as alive as he can be and for that reason I didn't want to take a decision on his future into my own hands. We just wanted to give him the chance.”
Ectopia cordis, where the heart develops outside the chest, is extremely rare, affecting eight in one-million births, DailyMailOnline reported. Doctors say 90 percent of children with the condition are stillborn or die within three days of their birth.
“We were told it is a very high risk pregnancy and there are concerns as to whether the baby will make it,” Samantha said. “There are not that many success stories and that's why we are praying for a miracle.”
Despite the fact that even should Gabriel survive, he faces dozens of surgeries, with minimal chance of success, the Kerrs have chosen life for their son.
“We love him already and we will pray for a miracle. That is all we can do,” Samantha continued. “I would give my life for him to be healthy. I think that is what a mother would do for her children.”
The couple acknowledged that the value of Gabriel’s life is not diminished by his health challenges or a slim chance of survival.
“We were told because of our age there was a high chance we could terminate and have a healthy child in the future,” Samantha said. “But we have not just signed up for a healthy child, we have signed up for a baby and this is what we have been given.”
The Kerrs have reached out on Facebook to a Texas family with an ectopia cordis success story and are waiting to hear back. They are set up for a series of appointments with specialists at their local hospital and another in London as they anticipate an April 17 due date for Gabriel.