A mother who refused to abort her child because he has half a heart says her experience makes her “more impassioned to speak for children who are deemed imperfect”.
Lisa Smiley and her husband James rejected abortion for their son because they believed that it was wrong in any circumstance.
Writing about their experience, Lisa said that their decision put their pro-life convictions to the test.
Lisa now says that while raising their son has been incredibly hard, the time has also been filled with happiness and joy.
Since their son’s birth, Lisa has come to realise that: “These precious kids have faces, names, desires, emotions”, and that the right to life extends to all children – “no matter what the circumstance”.
Lisa and James were told of their son’s condition – Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – at their 20-week scan and medics said they did not need to “burden” themselves with a “lifetime of pain and suffering”.
These precious kids have faces, names, desires, emotionsLisa Smiley
But, while the couple acknowledged that they had no understanding of what lay ahead, they stuck by their pro-life convictions and continued with the pregnancy.
When Ezekiel – or Zeke for short – was born, he was put on life support and had open-heart surgery. He then continued to have multiple health issues and nearly died at around five months.
However, Lisa wrote, “Zeke was a lively boy and very intelligent”, who loved making jokes and playing. “He hit all the childhood milestones despite these obstacles”, she commented, proving doctors wrong many times.
In March last year Zeke went into cardiac arrest and James performed CPR to revive him. The family then continued to fight for his life and he is making a slow recovery.
“Raising him has no doubt been hard, heart-wrenching, and stretched us beyond anything we have done. Just as surely, our lives have been filled with joy and happiness by having Zeke in our family.
“While our throwaway culture may come to other conclusions, my experience with Zeke has made me more pro-life than ever before. I have experienced firsthand the humanity of ‘imperfect’ children—in my own child.”