A teenage mother who refused to abort her disabled son says that despite his health problems: “I’m just so pleased I didn’t give up on him.”
Kayleigh Douglas was advised to have an abortion after her 20-week scan revealed her son had a serious medical condition.
But she refused, saying her heart was “already full of love for him” and she “felt sure that there must be another way”.
Kayleigh’s son Bobby is now four years old and while he has a feeding tube and difficulties with speech and mobility, he has surpassed expectations.
“It’s not been easy looking after a child with all Bobby’s disabilities but do I regret missing out on my teenage years looking after him? Not at all.
“Bobby is the best thing to ever happen to me. I’m just so pleased I didn’t give up on him”, Kayleigh, who was 17 when she became pregnant, said.
The challenges began at the 20-week scan when it was revealed Bobby had cysts building up on his lungs and pressing on his organs – a condition called microcystic congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation.
Kayleigh said she was not going to consider taking the advice to abort: “I wasn’t going to give up on my boy that easily. I felt sure that there must be another way.”
She then set about finding a doctor who would operate on her son in the womb, and a private doctor agreed to carry out the operation at no cost.
“I was so happy that somebody else agreed my baby was worth fighting for”, she explained.
At 28 weeks Kayleigh was rushed into hospital for an emergency caesarean, when Bobby was born.
He only weighed 2lb 14oz, and it was not until he was nine weeks old that she was able to hold him.
“A nurse lifted him out of his crib and wrapped him in a blue fleece blanket I had bought for him.
“When he was placed in my arms, tears welled up. He was just so gorgeous”, she said.
Done the best
At one point a doctor told her that her son was unlikely to walk or talk and may need help breathing for the rest of his life.
But after 18 months she could bring Bobby home, and he has recently taken his first steps.
“I am so proud of my son”, she said, adding: “And I’m proud of myself too because I know I’m a good mother and I know I have always done the best for Bobby.”