An open letter to Enda Kenny and politicians


Dear Enda Kenny,

Right about now you’re settling back into the Dáil, back to the business of running the country.

Right about now I am having another blood test from my incubator in Neonatal ICU. I have a breathing tube in my lungs to help me breathe, and a feeding tube in my stomach to nourish me.

Apart from the doctors and nurses who are caring for me, I am alone.

I sound like a patient who is very sick with a severe illness or disease. But only a few weeks ago I was a baby boy growing in the womb of my mother.

All I really needed was that time to grow. But time was taken away from me.

At just 25 weeks I was forcibly removed from my mother’s womb and I had to struggle to survive in the hospital due to my extreme prematurity.

In spite of my current situation involving incubators, feeding tubes, breathing tubes, needles, blood tests, medicines and round-the-clock care; I feel lucky to be alive.

The alternative would have been so much worse – an injection of a powerful and lethal drug straight into my heart - causing a heart attack which would have killed me.

My mother would have then delivered me dead two days later. This is a late term abortion.

The story of my life up until now might sound like a horror movie.

But it’s reality. And it’s legal.

And it’s all because you ignored doctor’s evidence and voted for a bill that allows this to happen in Ireland, to babies like me.

I don’t blame my mother. She was a victim as I am a victim now.

She needed the correct treatment for her mental health suffering - which was to make her safe, and to offer her the proper support, psychotherapy and medication to treat her suicidal thoughts.

That is the treatment for suicidality and you should know that from the evidence of the Oireachtas hearings in January 2012.

I don’t blame the doctors. Your law now forces them to ignore all the medical evidence, which says abortion is not a treatment for suicidality, and obliges them to perform the antithesis of obstetrical care; to remove a perfectly healthy baby from the womb of a physically healthy mother.

In my case it was done by forced delivery, extremely premature. Maybe the next case it will be done by injecting the baby’s heart and delivering it dead.

I don’t blame my mother, I don’t blame my doctors. I blame you.

You are responsible for what has happened to me and I want you to know that.

Who knows what the future holds for me. I have about a 20% chance of having intact health. Maybe my health issues won’t be severe; a mild learning or behavior problem, the occasional infection due to an underdeveloped immune system.

Maybe they’ll be worse than that; visual or hearing loss, lifelong breathing difficulties and hospital admissions.

Or maybe I’ll be unfortunate enough to develop cerebral palsy, or brain damage and have to be dependent on others to care for me for the rest of my life.

I hear that one doctor has estimated that the cost of my ICU care could reach €100,000. Depending on the health consequences of my prematurity, my health bill could run into millions of euro over the course of my life.

This will be paid for by the taxpayer, even though they never voted to make this legal. You did.

Usually prematurity is as a result of some medical complication of pregnancy either with the mother or the baby. But not in my case.

This was forced upon me as a direct result of the law that you enacted.

Your law hasn’t helped women. It hasn’t changed anything about caring for mothers or babies in pregnancy. All it has done is failed my mother and inflict a lifetime of medical complications on me.

I am number one. How many more must there be?

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