Parents' devotion gave 'a little miracle' hope

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The Independent Online
Michele Bosc, 47, recalls her five years of heartache since her son Aime was left blind and brain-damaged by life-saving open heart surgery when he was five months old. Only when asked about the legal application by Con and Fiona Creedon does she break down and cry.

Her emotional response is to offer to take their baby. But she does not condemn the Creedons. "I just think our pain can only have been a fraction of theirs," said French-born Mrs Bosc. "Their decision cannot have been taken lightly and they will have to live with it for the rest of their lives."

Through Aime Mrs Bosc and her husband Cris, 42, from west London, have witnessed the "miracles" that can be achieved with brain-damaged children through intensive therapy techniques developed in America.

Aime was a healthy and smiling baby before surgery. When he came home five weeks later he was a blind, floppy ,writhing little bundle with a high pitched scream. A brain haemorrhage during surgery was to blame. His sight was not expected to return and doctors said he would probably be mentally retarded.

The couple, both adult education lecturers, never accepted the prognosis. "We never felt like giving up on him or thought of euthanasia."

They filled Aime's room with tinsel and bright lights. Constant contact and stimulation - like massage, bathing and swimming - were offered as compensation for his sight.

The Boscs do not play down the work involved - Cris calls it the hardest task in his life - or the support needed. Sixty children from a local school help with Aime's exercises. At one point the couple were doing 12 hours of therapy a day. Today Aime still undergoes a daily four hour regime.

The rewards have been immense. Aime's sight is much improved. He can walk and run. His development is still delayed - he cannot yet talk - but this year he will start mainstream school.

"We never think of Aime as a cross to bear but as a little miracle," said Mrs Bosc.