A man has recounted the heartbreaking moment he was forced to choose between his wife and their premature baby, a decision he described as impossible.

Last year, Michael Gerry Fotheringham McConnell, 33, from Scotland, faced an unimaginable situation when his fiancée, Stephanie Brown, 29, began leaking amniotic fluid at 18 weeks pregnant and was rushed into emergency surgery.

Following the initial health scare and further tests, doctors discovered that the baby’s heart was “abnormally large,” leading them to refer the expectant mother to a cardiac specialist.

Michael Gerry Fotheringham McConnell and Stephanie Brown endured a heartbreaking loss.

Tragically, the scan revealed that the baby’s lungs were too small for his body and disproportionate to the rest of his organs.

The hopeful parents, who had experienced a loss a few years prior, received the devastating news that their baby would not survive to full term.

Brown was advised to continue the pregnancy for another six weeks to give their baby, Mickey, the best chance of survival. She was then taken to Wishaw General Hospital to give birth.

Stephanie Brown and her newborn child, Mickey, tragically passed away on July 24.

The already dire situation worsened when McConnell received a call from the hospital informing him that the umbilical cord had collapsed.

McConnell was then faced with an impossible decision.

“The doctor who was about to deliver me pulled me aside and said, ‘If push comes to shove, who survives? Mom or baby?'” McConnell recalled to Jam Press.

He described feeling “terrified” as he “saw all these people and their faces,” which conveyed the gravity of his partner’s condition.

When Mickey was born, he weighed less than a bag of sugar.

“When I found out my fiancée’s life was in danger, my heart stopped—all I cared about at the time was her safety,” McConnell said.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, immediate intervention is necessary to prevent the fetus from putting pressure on the umbilical cord and cutting off oxygen.

Despite this, McConnell and Brown wanted to have their baby boy, even though many warned them he would not survive.

“Everyone was doubtful about his survival,” McConnell added, “especially because the weeks leading up to his delivery were a great strain on Stephanie’s body.”

The father recounted the heartbreaking moment he had to choose between his fiancée and his child.

“I’ve stood by her side through the darkest and scariest periods of my life,” McConnell shared, “and with her losing fluid and having to carry our baby for six weeks, it was physically and psychologically challenging.”

Due to complications, including the placenta being caught in Brown’s stomach and bladder, a cesarean section was deemed the best option. Their baby, Mickey, weighed just 1 pound and 3 ounces when delivered in November 2021.

“There were so many people in the theater, and my heart was in my mouth the whole time,” McConnell said.

When Mickey was only a few months old, his condition began to worsen.

“They took my son off the operating table, and everything went quiet—all I remember is the first time he used his voice,” McConnell recalled. “We were amazed by how clear and loud it was. The relief at that moment was immense.”

Mickey spent three months in the neonatal intensive care unit before being transferred to a clinic closer to home. However, his health began to deteriorate just as doctors were planning the move.

“The doctors referred to it as ‘blue turns,’ saying he might not survive,” the heartbroken father shared, noting a “lack of communication” and feeling “horribly let down by the treatment he received.”

A GoFundMe account has been created to help the family through this difficult time. “We still don’t know what’s causing his worsening condition,” McConnell continued.

As Mickey’s body outgrew his lungs, doctors indicated he was nearing the end of his life. On July 24, the newborn boy passed away in his mother’s arms.

“He was the brightest star I’ve ever known,” McConnell said in a tribute to his son. “I’ll never forget the impact my boy made on this earth; he truly was a warrior. He was in pain, but now he’s at peace. Shine brightly, my small warrior. Rest in peace, our lovely son.”