Freddie-Lee Lofthouse celebrated his first birthday on Sept. 26, and his family had an extra reason to celebrate. It was a day his family thought they would never see.
After Freddie’s mother, Stacey Dickinson, had her fourth child, doctors told her she would not be able to have more children, according to the Lancashire Evening Post.
When she and her partner, Russell Lofthouse, got pregnant with Freddie, Dickinson said it was a huge shock.
“From that point, I knew our baby was going to be special,” Dickinson said.
But Dickinson had to fight for her “miracle” baby’s life. Doctors pressured Dickinson to abort her son, saying Freddie could have birth defects like Down syndrome or short limbs, or wouldn’t survive birth, according to the report.
“Right up to 29 weeks they were trying to make me get rid of him because they said he would not survive,” Dickinson said. “It got to the stage where I didn’t want to go to anti-natal classes because I knew they would keep trying to convince me to have an abortion.”
When Dickinson arrived for her 29 week appointment, she said the doctors discovered that the placenta was not pumping blood to Freddie. They rushed her to have an emergency C-section.
Born three months early, Freddie weighed just over 2 pounds, according to the article. Dickinson said she did not see her son until the next day; doctors had rushed him to neo-natal intensive care.
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“I wasn’t allowed to hold him but I would sit with my arm in his incubator and he would grab hold of my finger,” Dickinson said.
Though medical care is improving for premature babies, Freddie had a difficult first few months.
Dickinson noticed that his stomach began to swell and then started to turn black, according to the report. But when she told the doctors, they dismissed her concerns. Finally, a medic examined Freddie and discovered that his bowels were swollen and pushing against his lungs.
“If we had not pushed he would not have survived,” Dickinson recalled.
Freddie was transferred to a different hospital where he went through five hours of surgery to stitch his bowels together, the article states.
Dickinson finally took Freddie home on Dec. 11, his due date, the article states. He weighed 17 pounds.
Freddie turned 1 year old on Sept. 26, and Dickinson said he has defied the doctor’s predictions by hitting every baby milestone: crawling, talking, and feeding himself.
“He’s a true miracle and a fighter,” Dickinson said. “He’s absolutely amazing.”