Shalome Harwood was born last year with a rare brain condition.
The one-year-old is alive because her parents, Colin and EJ, of Huddersfield, rejected doctors’ diagnosis at a 20 week scan that she was “incompatible with life”.
The Harwood family gave an exclusive interview to The Christian Institute explaining why they chose life and encouraging those facing a similar diagnosis not to give up hope.
Doctors diagnosed Shalome with alobar holoprosencephaly, a rare condition which hampers brain development.
But the parents refused to cave in to pressure to have an abortion. They expressed disappointment at the doctors’ attitude.
EJ told the Institute, “we were adamant that we wanted to choose life and I found it quite upsetting really that abortion was always talked about at every single meeting and appointment”.
She added, “at those appointments, they should have said to us ‘if you’re choosing life then there’s this support in place, there’s this hospice, there’s hope there’”.
Doctors later told the parents that Shalome “might survive” as she had a different form of the condition, which only affected half of her brain. But they added, “if she does, you’re looking at minutes, hours”.
Contrary to their prediction Shalome has recently celebrated her first birthday.
Colin and EJ say she has ‘enriched their lives’ and that they count “every day a blessing”.
“We believe that God has a purpose for everyone, even Shalome.”
“In the 11 months we’ve had her for, she’s made a bigger difference in her life than what most people do in 70.”
Giving advice to parents receiving a similar diagnosis, Colin said, “don’t jump to conclusions, find out what support there is available for a child with special needs”, adding “just because a child is in the womb doesn’t mean it’s not a life”.