Abigail's miracle baby - first enchanting picture

Last updated at 09:19 13 November 2005

It is a heart-warming yet familiar scene. A young mother cradles her newborn baby while husband and son look on adoringly. Only this is a joyous picture the nation once thought it would never see.

For Abigail Witchalls, paralysed in a knife attack seven months ago during the early stages of her pregnancy, wasn't expected to live. And even after she pulled through, her unborn son was not expected to survive.

Yesterday Abigail, 26, spoke movingly of her sheer delight. "I've found great strength and comfort in carrying this child over the past few months and it is such a blessing and a joy to see him face to face," she said.

After seeing his little brother for the first time, Abigail's other son Joseph, two, happily declared: 'Baby come out!'

Abigail was attacked on April 20 while pushing Joseph in a buggy along a lane near her home in Little Bookham, Surrey. She was given the last rites and spent five months in hospital, astounding doctors with her remarkable progress.

'Exciting homecoming'

Abigail's husband Benoit said he was delighted that his wife and new son, who weighed 5lb 6oz, were 'both healthy'.

The child, who has still to be named, was born a little early at 35 weeks by natural delivery 'with very little assistance'.

A statement from St George's Hospital in Tooting, South London, added: "Abigail will be in hospital for several days and will return to live with her family at Little Bookham.

"The house is being adapted for her. Abigail has already enjoyed a week at home with her family and her new carers."

Benoit praised the hospital staff, adding: "We are looking forward to an exciting homecoming, except now with another beautiful son and a brother for Joseph."

Father John Sheehy at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, Abigail's local place of worship, said: "We're all offering prayers of thanksgiving and will continue to pray for the welfare of the family."

A parishioner said: "It is a miracle that the baby was born. It shows that prayers are answered."

• Donations to Abigail's trust fund can be sent to The Abigail Witchalls Trust, PO Box 54047, London SW20 8ZH.