In the United Kingdom, three-year-old Ciaran Rogers is a living a healthy and happy life with his parents, Gemma Rodgers and Ross Kelter. However, he would not be here today if his parents would have taken their doctor’s advice and chosen to have an abortion. At Gemma’s 20-week scan, doctors told the young couple that their baby would be born paralyzed and have no quality of life.
The Daily Mail reports that they were encouraged to have an abortion because their son’s future looked grim. They believed he would have spina bifida, be a burden to his parents, and would never walk, talk or do basic things like going to the bathroom by himself. Thankfully, the couple refused abortion and believes it was the best decision they have ever made.
Remarkably, Claran is as healthy as other toddlers his age and he doesn’t suffer from any health problems. Gemma explained, “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. I’m so glad I didn’t because he is perfect in every way.”
In May 2012, Claran was born via Caesarean section at Scotland’s Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He weighed 5lb 13oz and was immediately taken away for three days of testing. Gemma 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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Now Gemma and Ross are furious that their doctors tried to pressure them into having an abortion before Claran was born. “He is a real miracle and I am furious at the doctors who told me to get rid of him. 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,” Gemma said.
Unsurprisingly, the National Health Service claims the couple was never encouraged to have an abortion. They said the following about the situation: “This patient’s ultrasound scan was performed by experienced Consultant Obstetricians skilled in Fetal Medicine who then provided further follow up care. 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.”
They continued, “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.”
That response didn’t satisfy Gemma and Ross and they are hoping the hospital will apologize. Gemma concluded, “I would very much like an apology from the hospital. I could have terminated my pregnancy because of their warnings and I don’t see how they could have got it so wrong. 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 we our happy family feels complete.”