‘Idea of precious time with my son ruled out abortion’

Thu, 17 Mar 2016

A mother who was urged to abort her severely disabled child refused to do so, saying that if she could spend just “one precious minute” with him, “that would be enough”.

Doctors encouraged 28-year-old Julie Gallagher to have an abortion right up until the end of her pregnancy, saying that her son Jordan was unlikely to live.

But she resisted and one year on, after a series of hospital visits, she and husband Alistair have just celebrated their son’s first birthday.

Difficulties

An MRI scan during Julie’s pregnancy showed that Jordan had a rare condition called alobar holoprosencephaly (HPE), where the brain does not form properly.

The condition causes developmental difficulties and facial deformity and half of babies born with it die before they are four months old.

Doctors warned Julie that Jordan would have profound learning difficulties and urged her to abort, but she decided to choose life.

I thought even if I could have one precious minute with my child, that would be enough.Julie Gallagher

‘One precious minute’

She told the Daily Mail: “I thought even if I could have one precious minute with my child, that would be enough.

“Doctors had warned me that he’d have severe facial disfigurement, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But when they handed him to me, he was perfect.”

Jordan’s first year of life has been far from easy with constant visits to hospital. Last year he was diagnosed with an allergy to milk and started having severe seizures.

‘Blessed’

But against expectations, he has “just carried on fighting” and Julie says that: “Every day is a wonderful bonus.”

She said: “He’s got such an amazing personality and if you met him you’d never guess what he’d been through.”

Julie added: “It’s been very emotionally draining, a complete rollercoaster – but we’re so blessed.”

To read more stories of people whose lives have been affected by abortion, visit The Christian Institute’s Choose Life page.