The parents of a disfigured baby girl have hit out at cruel online trolls who labelled her a “monster” after they shared pictures of her on Facebook.
Parents Naffi and Racheli Goldman were told little unborn Batya was “not compatible with life” and offered an abortion seven months into the pregnancy.
A 3D scan revealed she had a rare congenital disorder which ended up leaving her deaf, blind, unable to breathe on her own, with a malformed skull and a twisted spine.
But the pair rejected the offer and when she was born even dad Naffi admits he was initially “frightened” by her bulging eyes and unusually-shaped head.
This month the devoted pair shared photos of Batya on Facebook, and were horrified when they were slammed by cruel critics who said their “monster” should be “killed”.
But the pair insist they don’t regret bringing the little girl into the world, and are raising £500,000 to pay for her care costs.
Naffi, from Manchester, said: “We were told to abort straight away and the doctors knew she would be born with a serious medical condition.
“They weren’t sure what, but they knew Batya would be seriously disabled.
“We were told she wouldn’t make it through birth and if she did, would die in infancy.
“They said caring for her would make our lives unbearable.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear and our world came crashing down.
“But God is a creator and he doesn’t make mistakes. We will look after the gift we have been given.
“When we saw the comments on our photographs we were horrified.
“We didn’t think people like this existed.
“What people were saying was dreadful. People said they have never seen such an ugly child.
“They said our child is a creature. One person said what we are doing is abuse and someone told us she looks like some kind of monster.
“People said ‘why bring a creature into this world, you should have killed her.
“It broke our hearts.”
The couple had been trying for a baby for two years before finally conceiving Batya.
Naffi says they were “delighted” and couldn’t wait to settle as a new family in Manchester.
They said all the scans throughout the pregnancy were totally normal, until they had the 3D scan while visiting family in near Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel.
Doctors said she would be born very disabled and would likely not survive, but her parents opted to reject an abortion.
Naffi said: “It was like an earthquake, a bombshell. We were so excited for when she arrived before the doctor told us we should kill our baby.
“As soon as we walked out of the doctor’s office we said straight away that we will keep the baby no matter what.
“We felt as though it was god’s will. It’s what our purpose in life is. There was nothing at all to debate.
“We knew it would be hard but we had to accept our destiny.
“To us, aborting at seven months would have been murder. She wasn’t a fetus, she was a real life baby.
“We were not prepared to take a child’s life and we were defiant about not aborting.”
Jewellery dealer Naffi and his wife moved to Israel after the scan, to be closer to family.
Batya was born deaf, blind, unable to breathe on her own, with spina bifida, Pfeiffer Syndrome and Antley Bixler Syndrome, on January 3.
The baby was rushed to intensive care and suffered respiratory failure during infancy and is now kept alive by a ventilator.
Naffi said: “She had an enlarged head and her eyes were bulging.
“I could see straight away that her spine wasn’t straight. She was frightening to look at.
“It was scary for us. We knew straight away that the future was going to be very, very hard for us.”
This month, mum Racheli, shared photos of her baby on Facebook, and was viciously attacked by online trolls for going against medics advice.
The messages said things like “do you think keeping this creature alive is the right thing to do?”.
Another troll called Batya a “sick fetus” whilst one person said Racheli’s baby looked like “medusa”, known in Greek Mythology as a monster.
Both Naffi and Racheli have had to give up their jobs and spent 24/7 – in alternate shifts – caring for their daughter.
She requires 80 procedures a day that keep her alive – including round-the-clock medication and feeding via a tube.
If her airways are not cleared every three hours she would suffocate.
“We do it out of love for our daughter”, said Naffi.
“We give her intensive care at home so we can’t work. We do 12 hour shifts between us.
“The government provide us with some equipment but we have to pay for a lot of the medication.
“We have to clean her ventilation tubes and if we miss a suction then she could suffocate.
“We work to keep our daughter alive.”
Around 80 per cent of children worn with Batya’s disabilities die within 12 weeks but she has “found a way to survive”.
And just like every other baby, Batya “loves to be loved”.
Naffi, who is a grandfather and has a daughter, 21, from another relationship, said: “She is a pampered baby for sure. She loves to be kissed, she loves to be held.
“She likes to know when people are around her. She can’t see or hear so we try to be around her all the time so she isn’t scared.
“Her body has adapted to not die. She has amazed us. This is the hand we have been dealt.
“She has found a way to survive and we absolutely love her.”
The couple had planned to live in the UK full time and had begun applying for citizenship for Israeli born, Racheli.
They hope to one day return to the UK to live if Batya is ever well enough to travel abroad.
They receive medical equipment from the Israeli government but are trying to raise money to pay for extra care.
To visit Naffi and Racheli’s GoFundMe page head to www.gofundme.com/helpbatya.