Biblical name is favourite for Abigail’s miracle son
Published: November 14, 2005 | 2713th good news item since 2003
STAB victim Abigail Witchalls and her husband Benoit are planning to call their newborn son Joshua – which means salvation.
Joshua is top of the Catholic couple’s list of favourite names for the 5lb 6oz baby born last Friday.
It is a Hebrew name, meaning “the Lord is salvation”, and Joshua was a Book of the Old Testament.
The Witchalls, who have a two-year-old son Joseph, will confirm their choice in the next few days.
A source said: “The whisper is that Joshua is to be the name. It’s a great name, especially with its religious connotations. And it fits very nicely alongside Joseph.”
Abigail, 26, was paralysed from the waist down after a knife attack seven months ago. She has slowly regained some movement and spoke of her joy after giving birth at St George’s Hospital, South London, where she was first treated after the attack.
With husband Benoit, 27, and Joseph by her side, she said: “I’ve found great strength and comfort carrying this child over the past few months and it is such a blessing and a joy to finally see him face to face.”
Excited Joseph shouted, “Baby come out!” when he saw his new brother. Emotional Benoit was full of praise for hospital staff. He said: “Once again the health care professionals here at St George’s have been so attentive and generous to us.”
He added: “We are really looking forward to an exciting homecoming once more, except now with another beautiful son and brother for Joseph.”
Abigail and Benoit’s family are “almost lost for words” to describe the joy over the baby who born early at 35 weeks. [Preventing premature birth]
The source added: “At last there is something wonderful to celebrate. The baby is beautiful. The family is almost lost for words.
“Benoit’s sister, a nun in a convent in France, is visiting the family to help look after Joseph. So there’s lots of family about at the moment.”
Abigail is likely to be discharged and return home to Little Bookham, Surrey, “in the next few days”. She did not require a caesarean section and has successfully begun breastfeeding.
After the attack, doctors feared that Abigail would not live. She had the last rites read to her by a priest. Even after her recovery, medics did not believe the baby would survive.
Prime suspect for the attack is Richard Cazaly, 23, who later killed himself with a drugs overdose.
A spokeswoman for the family said it had taken them three weeks to decide on Joseph’s name, adding: “The baby has not been named yet.”