Earlier this year, Samantha and Dennis Kerr were very excited to find out they were expecting a baby boy. However, a routine scan brought some very bad news; they were told that their baby has an extremely rare condition called ectopia cordis. In fact, it is so rare that it only affects eight in one million births, and of those affected, 90% are stillborn or die within days after birth.
A consultant in foetal cardiology at Evelina London hospital, Dr Gurleen Sharland, shared more about the condition with the Daily Mail. Sharland said, “Ectopia cordis is caused by a defect in the chest wall which can lead to the heart being completely or partially outside the body.
Sometimes babies suffering from the complication may also be born with other external organs, which makes survival more unlikely. The condition requires surgery if the baby is to survive but sometimes this is difficult as the heart has developed so long outside the body that the chest is too small to accommodate it.”
Despite the grim odds, the couple rejected abortion because they want to give their son a chance at life. Samantha said, “He is our little miracle and we are willing him to survive. We love him already and we will pray for a miracle. That is all we can do. I would give my life for him to be healthy. I think that is what a mother would do for her children.”
They decided to name their son Gabriel because it means ‘miracle,’ and are looking for other families that may have babies with the condition. So far, they’ve found one baby in Texas who had surgery and survived.
As LifeNews previously reported, a baby girl named Audrina Cardenas was born with roughly one-third of her heart exposed and underwent an six-hour open-heart surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. A team of skilled cardiac and plastic surgeons were able to repair the heart and place it back in Audrina’s body. Samantha and Dennis are hoping their son will have a similar outcome.
Samantha concluded, “We were told because of our age there was a high chance we could terminate and have a healthy child in the future. 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. 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.”