Little Dexson Dukes is a bundle of energy and quite the chatterbox, but before he was born doctors urged his mother more than 20 times to terminate the pregnancy.
Scans showed at 22 weeks the tot was not only suffering from spina bifida, but also had conjoined kidneys and part of his brain missing.
Doctors warned devastated mum Samantha that her unborn baby was so ill he would probably not survive birth and, if he did, he would have no quality of life.
At one point the 33-year-old was so traumatised she almost took the doctor’s advice and turned up at the hospital asking for an abortion.
But, when it could not be done that day, the mother-of-two decided it was “God’s will” that she was meant to keep her baby,
Now as she watches the four-year-old run around like any other child, she knows she was right not to give up on her son.
Miss Dukes, from Aberdeen, who is also mum to 11-year-old Maicey, said: “He’s a wee miracle. To look at him you’d think there was nothing wrong with him. He never stops. He’s an inspirational little boy.
“But even when I was 33 weeks pregnant I was still being asked, ‘are you sure you want to continue, it’s not too late?’ I was asked if I wanted one (an abortion) every time I had an appointment.
“I was told because he had no cerebellum in his brain he wouldn’t even be able to hold his head up, he’d be a vegetable. It was awful.”
But Dexson astounded everyone when he was delivered by caesarean section on March 24, 2014.
Miss Dukes then enjoyed a brief cuddle with her newborn, before he was whisked to intensive care for specialist care.
Dexson was born with five vertebrae missing from his spine and, at just two days old, surgeons closed the gap in his spine and put the exposed spinal cord and nerves back into the correct place.
The operation was a success but, eight days later, he needed further surgery to have a shunt inserted in his brain to drain away excess fluid.
The youngster now attends a mainstream nursery and even manages to help his mum, who suffers from osteoarthritis.
She said: “One day I couldn’t bend down to get my socks on and he put them on for me. I just thought, ‘he shouldn’t be doing that, it should be the other way around’.
“He’s incredible. He’s got spina bifida – and he’s helping me out. He’s such a thoughtful little boy.”
Dexson also suffers from joint hypermobility and suspected scoliosis, which causes the spine to curve, and has a wheelchair on stand-by for when his legs get tired.
He had two operations – at four months and three-and-a-half years – to help ease complex bladder and kidney problems.
This involved surgeons giving him botox on his bladder to “fatten” the tissue to stop urine returning to his kidneys, which are joined together in a horseshoe shape.
Dexson needs more surgery to fix tethered cords in his spine which have become attached to scar tissue and which are causing him pain in his back and legs.
But proud Miss Dukes – who raised hundreds of pounds for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland to thank them for their support – said: “You never hear him complain. Dexson certainly lives a full life and definitely deserves to be on this earth. He’s such a happy little boy and I’m awfully proud to be his mum. I wouldn’t change him for anything.”