Mum proud of 'little fighter' whose birth defect means he was born with one arm and no legs

Marie Claire Dorking
·4-min read

Watch: Boy born with one arm and no legs hailed as ‘perfect’ by proud mum

A mum whose baby was born with one arm and no legs has shared her pride at her son's resilience. 

Rosie Higgs, 29, from Harrow, London, had been told her unborn son might have amniotic band syndrome – a condition which could stop his limbs from growing properly – at her routine 20-week scan.

Henry Higgs, now 11 months, arrived via C-section weighing a healthy 8lb 2oz. 

He was born with just one arm with a webbed hand, but he is now hitting all the milestones he should be. 

Henry is able to lift objects up, lift his head up and roll over.

"When I was told my baby would only have one arm – and no legs – I was so worried and upset," his mother, a special-needs school care assistant, reveals. 

“It was scary at times being pregnant."

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Mum Rosie Higgs is proud of her son, Henry. (SWNS)
Mum Rosie Higgs is proud of her son, Henry. (SWNS)

Not being able to have her mum Paula, 55, and partner Peter, 39, by her side during her scans due to coronavirus restrictions made the pregnancy even trickier.

"I had scans every four weeks – they kept a close eye because every scan was saying something different," Higgs explains. 

"When I was at work it was OK because I didn't think too much. But when I had to stop work I was really overthinking things.

"I was worried something might go wrong. But he is such a happy chap and doesn't let his disability hold him back in any way.

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

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Henry with his mum just after birth. (SWNS)
Henry with his mum just after birth. (SWNS)

Henry was born on 13 May at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, London.

“Not being able to have my mum with me at the birth was heartbreaking, especially as I knew Henry was high-risk," Higgs continues. 

"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."

Watch: Girl born without arms or right leg using her only foot to play with her toys. 

Higgs says straight after Henry's birth the midwives took him to one side and his dad went over to see him first.

Having picked Henry up, Peter Higgs brought him over and gently placed him in her arms.

"As he passed me my little boy I fell in love," she says. 

After Henry returned home to meet the rest of his family – sister Alice, 13, and brother, Michael, seven – the elder siblings embraced his differences, Higgs says. 

"When Henry's brother first saw him he said 'eugh' – but that wasn't because of his limbs – it was because of his umbilical cord," she says. 

"They both love him and accept him for who he is."

Grandmother Paula also loves spending time with her grandson and makes him clothes to accommodate his limbs. 

"Clothing is very difficult, you have to roll everything up or it looks ridiculous," Higgs says. "Mum likes to crochet and knit, so she makes him little outfits.

"She absolutely adores him. Everyone just accepts him for who he is."

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Henry's mum describes him as a 'little fighter'.  (SWNS)
Henry's mum describes him as a 'little fighter'. (SWNS)

Now 11 months, Henry is hitting all his developmental milestones, and his family are thrilled. 

"He's able to pick things up without any problems which is really surprising," Higgs says. "He's progressing really well."

An operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital to separate his webbed hand has also helped with Henry's development. 

“Now he can pick things up and eat himself," Higgs says. 

"It has made such a difference with his mobility.

“We are also talking with Stanmore Orthopedics about getting Henry orthopedics in the future, which will make a huge difference."

Henry with his siblings Michael and Alice, mum Rosie and dad Peter. (SWNS)
Henry with his siblings Michael and Alice, mum Rosie and dad Peter. (SWNS)

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

“Thanks to the charity I’ve been in contact with loads of parents in similar positions," Higgs says. 

“They've been amazing. They’ve really helped me get through it."

But as her son is progressing so well, Higgs says his future is looking bright. 

“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,” she adds.