My ‘perfect’ little boy: Mother, 29, whose baby has no legs, one arm and a webbed hand says not having abortion was ‘best decision in her life’ after she learned of rare condition while he was still in womb

  • Little Henry Higgs, 11 months, was born without both his legs and with one arm 
  • Mum Rosie says he has progressed really well and manages with just his one limb
  • The little boy had Amniotic Band Syndrome which inhibits growth in the womb 

A mum whose son was born without legs and with one arm with a webbed hand says she never considered terminating her pregnancy as she praised her ‘perfect’ little boy.  

Rosie Higgs was warned ahead of 11-month-old Henry’s birth he could have Amniotic Band Syndrome, where a baby’s limbs are inhibited from growing properly in the womb.

But she ignored family and friends asking if she was going to terminate the pregnancy and calls the decision the ‘best she’s ever made’.

Henry has also had an operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital to separate his webbed hand and now loves to splash around in the bath, wiggle his little hand and reach out and touch his toys.

Little Henry, 11 months, with (from left) Michael, seven, sister Alice, 13, mum Rosie, 29, and dad Peter, 39

Special needs school assistant Rosie, 29, from Harrow, London said: ‘When I was told my baby would only have one arm – and no legs – I was so worried and upset.

‘There was no doubt in my mind that I was keeping him – no matter what I was advised.

‘He’s able to pick things up without any problems which is really surprising. He’s progressing really well.

‘Henry is happy, he loves sitting up in his highchair, but we have to be careful.

‘He’s not able to use a babywalker because it wouldn’t be safe for him because he doesn’t have his bottom limbs.’

Mum Rosie meets little Henry after his birth at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, London

Henry Higgs was diagnosed with Amniotic Band Syndrome in the womb and was born without both legs and an arm

Henry is progressing so well I don’t have any worries about his future.

‘I know he will always be a little bit different but we take it day by day and I know he’ll be able to cope with any future challenges.’

To make matters more difficult, Rosie gave birth to her baby during lockdown so did not have her supportive mum, Paula, 55, and partner Peter, 39, by her side during her scans.

But when Rosie took the tot home to meet his sister, Alice, 13, and brother, Michael, seven, they didn’t bat an eyelid at their sibling. 

Rosie added: ‘Not being able to have my mum with me at the birth was heartbreaking, especially as I knew Henry was high risk.

Mum Rosie with her ‘absolutely perfect’ son Henry who she has described as a ‘flirt’ with a cheeky smile

‘Luckily the midwives were absolutely incredible. I was so stressed throughout my pregnancy and when Henry was born the midwives asked if I wanted to see him straight away because I was nervous.

‘Scans can only tell you so much. It was such a build up and a worry when he first came out I didn’t know what to expect.

‘As [Peter] passed me my little boy I fell in love.’

Since Henry’s birth, Rosie has received support from Reach – a charity which helps children with upper limb differences.

She added: ‘Thanks to the charity I’ve been in contact with loads of parents in similar positions.

‘They’ve been amazing. They’ve really helped me get through it. The house is something that we’re going to have to adapt as he gets older because it’s not suitable the way it is at the moment. That is a bit of a worry.

‘But he is such a happy chap and doesn’t let his disability hold him back in any way. He’s a flirt, he’s got a cheeky smile and he’s always laughing. He loves his big sister.

‘He might not have all of his arms and legs, but he’s absolutely perfect to me.’  

For more information visit Reach’s website.

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