Cheyenne Potts and her husband Michael were eagerly awaiting the birth of their baby boy Leo when doctors informed them that something was wrong with their son. The news and the doctor’s advice to abort their baby “knocked the breath” out of them.
“Our little man, Leo, has a disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta… brittle bone disease,” explained Leo’s grandmother in an essay for Love What Matters. “‘He is broken and breaking,’ say the doctors. Type 2, they tell his parents, no hope. Always fatal. He may die during pregnancy or, certainly, shortly after birth. ‘It would be kinder to terminate,’ they tell his mom and dad.”
But aborting at 20 weeks is anything but “kind.” At this age, children are just a week shy of viability. Yet, some doctors still recommend discriminatory abortion for children at 20 weeks and beyond when a health condition is discovered. A D&E abortion is typically committed at this stage and involves dismembering the baby. Ripping a human being’s limbs from his torso is cruel and brutal and is described by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino in the video below:
The family discussed the possible choices in front of them, but there was never a doubt that they would choose life for Leo. They also didn’t think they would ever bring him home, and planned his funeral. Still, there was a glimmer of hope in their hearts as they would talk about what life might be like if he did survive. For four months they lived with the uncertainty and the fear. At Christmas, Potts took as many photos as possible, wondering if this was the only Christmas she would ever have with Leo.
“… [A]t this time the doctors still all agree Leo would not live beyond a week, and that week would be one of pain,” wrote Leo’s grandmother.
Leo was born in January 2019 weighing five pounds, 11 ounces, and he was alive.
“Crying, alive, and doing it on his own! The doctors were wrong,” wrote his grandmother. “Was he perfect? No, he was perfectly imperfect, and he was HERE. Alive, and a fighter. That day, Leo began to show the world that he would write his own book.
“Today, 6 months later, Leo is still holding the pen….”
The doctors told the family that he would likely remain in the neonatal intensive care unit for three to six months. But he only spent 38 days in the hospital before coming home. While he still has health challenges and concerns — he’s at risk of breaking with the slightest bump and in more severe cases people experience hearing loss, spinal cord issues, and heart failure — life with Leo is beautiful. His family is grateful for each and every moment.
“We were asked about moments that stand out to us, and to be honest, I can’t think of just a few things that stand out,” wrote his grandmother. “He is an amazingly happy spirit and we see him touch and inspire people everywhere he goes. His family, most of all.”
Leo’s family never defined him by his diagnosis. They knew his value wasn’t wrapped up in the challenges he would face. Like every human being on the earth, Leo’s life isn’t determined by just one aspect. He is human and therefore he has value. And all the parts and pieces that make up who he is are not wiped out by the words Osteogenesis Imperfecta. To have aborted him would have been to say that he was nothing more than those two words. And that would have been a tragedy, an act of discrimination, and an injustice.
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