A couple have told their heart-rending story of saying “no” to aborting their severely disabled child – after seeing his smiling face on a 3D scan.
Katyia Rowe said seeing their son smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms left her convinced she should not abort him.
And despite the negative outlook for their son, she said: “As I watched I knew that while I was carrying him he still had a quality of life and it was my duty as a mother to protect that no matter how long he had left, he deserved to live.”
Tragically their son, Lucian, died nine hours after the birth. But Katyia does not regret her decision.
She commented: “The love and joy I felt the moment they put Lucian in my arms told me it had all been worth it.”
And she said: “If he could smile and play and feel then despite his disabilities he deserved to enjoy whatever life he had left, no matter how short.”
Katyia continued: “Just because his life would be shorter or different, didn’t mean he didn’t deserve to experience it.
“As long as he was pain free I vowed to let him enjoy his life both while inside me and outside, no matter how long that be.”
The couple have chosen to speak about their story because they want to support Sands, a charity that helps people who have gone through similar circumstances.
Katyia and her partner Shane said they were “devastated” when they were told their son’s disabilities were “so severe” that they “should consider a termination”.
She said: “Further scans were arranged to assess the extent of his disabilities but when I saw him smiling and playing inside me I knew I couldn’t end his life.”
The couple were told by experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital that their child would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care.
But Katyia said that “didn’t phase” her and commented that while she never thought of herself as “particularly maternal”, she wanted “nothing more than to care for my son and give him the best quality of life possible”.
She also commented: “Despite all the awful things I was being told, while he was inside me his quality of life looked to be wonderful and no different to any other baby’s, he was a joy to watch.”
Awfully, soon after he was born midwives told Katyia that Lucian had just minutes to live.
She said: “I was shocked but we had already decided that after his birth we would let Lucian lead the way.
“I didn’t want him given any unnecessary treatment if ultimately it wouldn’t help him.”