Dustin Kiggins thinks of himself as “one of the lucky ones” because his parents gave him a chance at life when doctors said he should be aborted.
Before he was born, doctors told his parents that he could have serious physical and mental health problems. They warned his mother of the possibility of infection and suggested that she should abort him, he said.
But his parents refused to give up on him. Kiggins was born after just 24 weeks gestation on Nov. 24, 1993, weighing 1.5 pounds. Despite a long stay in the hospital as an infant, Kiggins said he has very few health problems today.
“Science said I should be dead, I should be deformed and transparent. I am alive, and I want to tell my story to as many people who will read it or listen,” Kiggins said.
He told LifeNews:
I spent three months in the NICU as a result of being born premature, I had a brain bleed on the left side of my brain that would’ve required a stint had it not reabsorbed back into the brain. I was also born with stage four Retinopathy of prematurity, a condition of the retinas in both eyes that affects most preemies.
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My parents were told by doctors that I would be deformed and transparent, or that I would have mental and physical health issues. I was on oxygen for most of my stay at the hospital with steroids given in order to help my underdeveloped lungs. There were several times that I stopped breathing …
Today the only thing I’m left with as a result of my beginning is a few scars and mild Cerebral Palsy as a result of the brain bleed reabsorbing.
Now a college student and a blogger, the young man realizes that many babies in similar circumstances never got a chance at life. Kiggins said he wants his story to give hope to families facing pressure to abort their unborn babies because of a disability.
“I have met many other kids who have been born prematurely just like me and yet you would never know the difference,” he said. “I look at pictures and video of me in the NICU and I can hardly believe that that small and fragile baby was me, it is me.”
Kiggins said he has been “blessed beyond measure by the Lord” because he defied the doctors’ predictions and lived longer than anyone thought he would.
“I as a man have every right to speak out on abortion because I could have been a victim,” Kiggins said. “My parents refused to abort me knowing that everything was in the hands of God himself.
“… I know that deep within my heart that I am one of the lucky ones,” he continued. “There are kids out there that were born much later than me and at the same time that either never survived or they have more challenges that I don’t have to face.”