The star of a hit Channel 4 Paralympic advert says he is so thankful his parents did not give up on him just because he had spina bifida.
Tony Dee sings in the advert which features 140 people with disabilities playing music, flying a plane, stunt driving and competing in athletics. So far the video has been viewed nearly 30 million times.
Speaking to LifeSiteNews, Dee said, “people should see people with disabilities as having the ability to live a life that is worthwhile”.
Dee’s parents did not know he had spina bifida – which occurs when the spine does not develop fully during pregnancy – until he was born.
Doctors cautioned that he might be “too much of a handful” and suggested that he was sent away into “an institution”.
But Dee’s father rejected the idea – “he got quite angry at the time” – and his parents looked after him.
Life worth living
Now Dee, who lives in Australia, says his life is so much better than he could have imagined – and with a smile adds that it is so much better than “some other people have imagined”.
He explains that the dire predictions of the medics were proved wrong and he is “really happy with the way life has turned out”.
Criticising the way society treats disabled children in the womb, and saying he feels “very strongly about being pro-life”, Dee said it scares him that doctors are “making guesses about babies that haven’t been born yet”.
The Channel 4 advert has already been hugely popular, and Dee says he hopes it continues to change attitudes.
The Christian Institute shared the story of Hilary McDowell in 2014. She was a successful dramatist, writer and broadcaster who was given a life expectancy of just three weeks.
Doctors said she would never walk and possibly never speak but her success in many fields saw her travelling the globe for writing and speaking engagements.
Speaking to The Christian Institute for our ‘Choose Life’ series she said: “Every child deserves life”. Hilary died in December 2015.