baby feet.jpg

Courts to decide future of Portugal’s “miracle baby”

The fact that Portugal’s ‘miracle baby’ – delivered after 108 days developing inside his brain-dead mother – is apparently hale and hearty has seen his father tell UK tabloid the Daily Mirror that he wants to win custody after all.

The story of little Lourenço and the mother fated never to see him has been followed closely by Portuguese media which suggested late last week that his father had “rejected him”, and he would be brought up by his maternal grandparents (click here).

But over the weekend, the tone of these stories changed – and 30-year-old Miguel Ângelo Faria has now given his exclusive story to the Daily Mirror, saying that he very much wants to be part of his newborn son’s life.

He explained that “at first” he was “worried about” his parental rights.

“I didn’t know if I would get time off to care for him,” he told the paper, supplying them with photographs of Lourenço’s first days in hospital.

“I was told he could have problems, and I didn’t know if I had the right conditions to look after a disabled little boy.

“But he is healthy and I have now been told I am entitled to paternity and maternity leave. So I can stay at home and look after him until November or December.”

Faria told the Mirror that he has told Lourenço’s grandparents that once he starts work again, they could take care of their grandson during the day.

But Portuguese tabloid Correio da Manhã tells another side to the story, saying the grandparents are “destroyed” by this new twist in the agony of losing their 37-year-old daughter to a brain haemorrhage in February, and then finally burying her after their grandson was born.

The full tragedy of Sandra Pedro’s death has been coming out slowly over the last few days. According to reports, she was suffering from kidney cancer which had returned after 10 years in remission.

Despite the fact that she had decided to go ahead with the pregnancy, the tumour “provoked an alteration in her blood pressure”, explains CM, which sparked the cerebral haemorrhage.

Reports of the care of Sandra Pedro’s pregnancy at Hospital São José in Lisbon detail how nurses spent time talking to the unborn Lourenço, singing to him and massaging his mother’s stomach.

“It has been an extraordinary case,” agreed one of the lawyers now involved in what may develop into a complicated custody battle.

CM explained over the weekend that the CHLC (Lisbon health authority) will be deferring to the Public Ministry to decide what is best for Lourenço’s future.

The miracle baby, who is now breathing on his own and gaining weight, has been under the care of the Public Ministry since February, when his mother was declared ‘brain-dead’.

[email protected]