“It was like looking at a little miracle”
William Hyams born at 23 weeks
By Dave Andrusko
Like anyone with six siblings and 55+ first cousins, my extended family is familiar with premature births. Unfortunately, most came well before we had the incredible array of medical interventions we are blessed with today.
That’s why every story of a tiny one beating the odds so resonates with me. Even more so now when I read of 22 and 23 weeks preemies in England where under its National Health Care system babies under 24 weeks are not resuscitated.
Talk about symbolism and cognitive dissonance: 24 weeks is also the cutoff point for abortions.
This confluence of factors is a strong inducement for parents of preemies to question not only the arbitrary date to end vigorous attempts to save premature babies, but also the whole notion of aborting huge, well-developed babies.
Enter Anita Hyams, 38, from Southend, Essex, England. Writing for The Mirror, Rosa McMahon explains that Mrs. Hyams’ experience of delivering William at 23 weeks has made her believe the outer limit of abortion should be lowered.
Little William weighed in at “just 1 lb 4 oz – the equivalent of two thirds of a bag of sugar – at 1.41 pm on June 7, 2016.”
“People have abortions at 24 weeks and yet look at William, he is alive and kicking and a fully-formed baby,” Mrs. Hyams told McMahon.
“He is not quite as developed as other babies his age, but he is getting there, and he is alive.”
“I was only 23 weeks pregnant when I went into labour and I knew that people could have abortions up to 24 weeks.
“After my experience, I think the abortion limit should be lower, or at least the limit should be lowered for when they will resuscitate a premature baby to 22 weeks.”
William Hyams was extremely lucky. He was given oxygen tubes to help him breath but only after he took a breath on his own.
He was immediately whisked away to the special care baby unit, before Anita even had chance to see him.
“I saw William for the first time at three hours old,” she said.
“I was scared to even touch him, because he was so tiny, just the size of my hand.
“But it was like looking at a little miracle.”
McMahon mentions that the 24 week abortion limit is extended when the child is expected to be “born with very severe disabilities.”
Truth be told, as we’ve reported dozens of times, overwhelmingly the babies who are aborted under “Ground C” are babies with Down syndrome.
Babies prenatally diagnosed with cleft palates have been aborted. While the number is small, it continues to rise, according to Michael Cook.
McMahon’s story ends on a delightful note. “His sisters adore him and are like two extra little mummies to him,” Mrs. Hyams said of William’s two sisters.
“I still feel so emotional talking about it all. He is so full of smiles and life. He can sit up on his own, but can’t crawl just yet. I know he’ll get there, though.
“And I’m just so grateful that he’s here.”