Germany’s “most famous foster child,” a boy who survived a botched late-term abortion, died Jan. 4 at age 21.
Tim, the adopted son of Bernhard and Simone Guido, died suddenly after suffering from a lung infection, according to the German news outlet Die Welt.
But the young man was not supposed to live at all. While in the womb, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and his birth mother decided to have a late-term abortion, the Irish Times reports.
Defying all odds, Tim survived and later was placed in the care of his foster/adopted family.
“It was 21 super happy, beautiful years,” his father, Bernhard Guido, said.
The family said Tim spent a “wonderful Christmas” at home with his family, and then died suddenly after contracting a lung infection.
“We are very sad and don’t yet know how we should come to terms with the loss of our son who was unique, full of life and joy,” they said in a statement.
Tim’s life was a miracle. The German media often referred to him as the “Oldenburg baby” or the country’s “most famous foster child” because of his parents’ pro-life advocacy for him and other children with disabilities.
In 1997, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome more than half way through his birth mother’s pregnancy, according to reports. She chose a late-term abortion. German laws prohibit abortions after 13 weeks in most cases, but late-term abortions are allowed for health reasons.
Here’s more from the Irish Times:
Born weighing just 690g (1½lbs), nurses wrapped him in a towel, where he spent the first nine hours of his life alone. After that, realising he was still alive, doctors and nurses began to provide him with medical care.
Doctors gave him one, maximum two, years to live because of various health difficulties, including underdeveloped lungs, which made him susceptible to infections.
After his mother and father declined to keep him he was raised by Bernhard and Simone Guido. They had applied be foster parents but were offered a very different baby than they expected.
The Guidos said they initially had planned to adopt a healthy baby girl, but when they saw Tim in the hospital, they could not say no.
“We immediately thought: he belongs with us,” his mother, Simone, said.
They fostered and later adopted him as their son. Tim struggled with numerous health issues and underwent multiple operations, but he survived long past doctors’ predictions. His family said Tim had a contagious laugh, and he loved to learn about dolphins and play with frisbees.
His parents later fostered two other children with Down syndrome and began advocating for the lives of children with disabilities, born and unborn. Tim’s story helped to expose the evils of late-term abortions in Germany and the eugenic targeting of babies like their son who have Down syndrome. About 90 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in Germany, according to the report.
The Guidos also wrote a book “Tim Lebt!” (Tim Lives!) about their son’s life.
“Of course, we’re thinking a lot about Tim’s life now and have a lot of very nice memories,” the family said in a statement. They said the birthday greetings and well-wishes to Tim through their website always brought him joy, and the messages have been a “real comfort for us, in these difficult days when we have to say goodbye to Tim.”