A five-year-old boy who was born as one of Britain’s most premature twins is “living proof” that the abortion limit needs to be lowered, the child’s mother says.
Charlie Allen was born at 23 weeks but five years on he has grown into a healthy, happy little boy.
Charlie’s survival has prompted Mrs Allen to call for the current 24-week abortion time limit to be lowered.
She said: “How can you say at that stage that they are not a life?
“They are babies – Charlie is living proof of that. The abortion time limit should be reduced.”
She added: “Charlie has amazed all his doctors and the hospital staff. He was faced with battle after battle from the moment he was born, but he’s overcome them all – he’s my little fighter.”
Charlie’s mother Emma is appalled that in some parts of the UK he would not have been resuscitated, as health trusts have the discretion whether to follow NHS guidelines on resuscitating babies born earlier than 24 weeks.
Mrs Allen, 31, was given the choice to resuscitate her identical twins when she gave birth at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
“Fortunately for us, there was no blanket policy in place at Norfolk and Norwich”, she said. “It makes me so angry that I want to cry when people say babies at 23 weeks should not be resuscitated.
“Look at Charlie – the very fact that he is here and is well, is living proof that they should be.”
The first-time mother was stunned to give birth so early into her pregnancy to Charlie, who weighed just 1lb 7oz, and his brother Jack, who weighed only 1lb 4oz.
When Jack died at eleven days old, doctors warned Mr and Mrs Allen that Charlie was also likely to die and at one point gave him just twelve hours to live.
Mrs Allen said that the doctors were amazed that, against all the odds, he was finally strong enough to be allowed home as the youngest surviving twin in the UK at that time.
“He may be on the small size, but Charlie can more then look after himself”, she said.
“I still see the fighting spirit in him that saved his life when he was just a baby.”