The mother of a boy who was born without legs after being born with an eye defect is giving him a second chance at life.
The mother of James, now seven, from Darwin, had been diagnosed with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to produce excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol.
James is now expected to be given up for adoption, with his biological parents now deciding on his future, and his birth father telling ABC Radio Melbourne the decision was made after a meeting in June last year.
“It was a really tough decision to make, because I knew he had a disability,” he said.
“I know it sounds harsh, but it was the best decision I could have made.”
James had been at the Darwin Children’s Hospital since November 2016 and his condition had worsened.
His parents had planned to raise the boy as their own but doctors had found he did not have the capacity to do so.
“We were looking for someone that would take care of him and help him learn how to walk,” Dr Julie Jones, James’ birth father, said.
“We were hoping to raise him in a home but we found out there was no one available in Darwin.”
James’ birth mother, Rosemary, is a registered nurse and has been working in the same area as the family since she was 16.
She had been worried about the outcome of the adoption, but was determined to do everything she could to help her son.
“He’s a very good baby, he’s a good baby boy,” she said.
“I’ve always been really protective of him.”
She said the baby was born with a severe defect in his left eye, but that his parents had found the right eye, and were hoping that the surgery would help him develop normally.
“After James was born he had very limited mobility in his right eye,” she told the ABC.
Ms Jones said the parents wanted to have their child be a family first.
“They’ve always wanted to be a loving family, they’re just looking forward to this day.”
Ms Jones is the sole mother of two children.
She said her decision to adopt James had been made after she was told he would need a second surgery to fix his eye defect.
“This has been a very hard time for us, and we wanted to do what we could to get him back to normal,” she explained.
“But he didn’t need a surgery.
He was just born with it, and he was just getting on with life.”
Now he’s getting on and doing well and he’s doing well with his new eye, so he’ll be fine.
Dr Jones said she had no regrets about having made the decision.
She said it was important for her to have James in her care and that she would never be without him.
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