First Christmas home for baby whose mum refused abortion

Doctors said Jacob Shaw would not live beyond his first birthday – but defying expectations, he has just turned three.

Jacob was born with a permanent spinal condition and a rare deformity in which his brain sits on top of his spinal cord.

When his condition was discovered at the 20 week scan his mother, Kirsty Mair, was offered an abortion.

Little soldier

Kirsty, 29, refused and little Jacob keeps battling on to defy medical expectations.

“He’s like a little soldier, he just keeps on fighting”, she said. “I think he’s trying to tell us that he’s here for a reason. They said he wouldn’t talk or be able to roll or sit up himself but he is able to do all those things”.

The youngster often stopped breathing and was expected to need oxygen while he slept, but two months ago he came off it, confounding medical predictions.


“There have been plenty of times I came close to losing him, but he keeps battling on and comes out fighting stronger. And in January this year it was the best day of my life when I got to bring him home”, she said.

After 17 operations and more than two years in hospital, Kirsty, from Aberdeenshire, said: “Hopefully this will be his first Christmas at home”.

Jacob still relies on a wheelchair as the spina bifida has left him paralysed from the waist down, and it is likely he will need risky surgery in the future.

Cheeky toddler

But for now Kirsty is enjoying life with her son, who she describes as being like any other cheeky toddler and is expected to start nursery next year.

In September a mother who refused an abortion after her waters broke at 16 weeks said she was so “grateful” that her son survived.

Katy Evans, 35, was taken to hospital at 16 weeks because of complications and doctors warned that her son Leo had just a one per cent chance of survival. At the time she spoke out, her son was already eight months old.

Choose Life

But Mr and Mrs Evans wanted to give their child a chance of survival, and said no to an abortion.

The Christian Institute has recently run a series of stories focusing on abortion called ‘Choose Life‘.

Individuals and couples share their moving and deeply personal accounts of how abortion has affected them.

Related Resources