Human Interest

After parents reject abortion despite a fatal diagnosis, Baby Jude is accepted into a program that can save his life

via Facebook.

In a plea for prayers for their preborn grandson, Christian authors Kerry and Chris Shook shared with their 100,000 Facebook followers that their son Josh and his wife Kelli have received heartbreaking news. Their baby boy Jude has been diagnosed with a rare and fatal kidney disease.

“The doctor gave them the option to terminate the pregnancy but they have chosen to fight for Jude’s life, no matter the length,” wrote the Shooks. “We know at this time that medically the outlook for Jude is not good. But we also know that only God has the final say and we believe He still works miracles.”

Just days after the Facebook post asking for prayers was read by thousands, Josh and Kelli were connected with a team of doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital who were familiar with Jude’s kidney condition. Mother and son went through a series of tests, procedures, and appointments, and were accepted into a research program. The program will allow Jude to receive experimental treatments in hopes of saving him.

Kelli underwent surgery to implant an amnioinfusion port in her abdomen, which will allow Jude to receive the amniotic fluid he desperately needs. On November 15, the Shooks reported that her surgery went well. Though there are risks of infection, contractions, and amniotic fluid leakage, doctors said that when Jude received his first fluids through the amnioport, he stretched out and became active.

“Jude will continue to receive infusions every few days in the coming weeks and months,” wrote the Shooks. “The road ahead is long but the grace God has given us today is already more than we deserve.”

The ultimate plan is to keep Jude as healthy as possible for the duration of the pregnancy in preparation for dialysis after he is born. The research project this couple has joined will hopefully lead to a successful treatment for all babies diagnosed with the condition, and God willing, a miracle for baby Jude.

Such a miracle would not even be possible if his parents hadn’t rejected the abortion offered to them and chosen life.

Innovative medical treatments — like the one Baby Jude is receiving — are on the rise. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s daughter was also diagnosed with a usually fatal kidney condition in-utero, but the baby’s parents rejected abortion and fought for her to receive treatment. Their daughter is three years old and “thriving” today. Parents facing difficult diagnoses need to be advised of treatment options instead of constantly having abortion pushed on them in their most vulnerable moments.

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