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Andrea Bocelli defied the odds after doctors warned his parents to abort

The Italian tenor told The Big Issue he is thankful his parents did not listen to doctors who warned he would be seriously ill from birth

Massive-selling Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli has told The Big Issue his parents ignored advice to abort him after doctors said he would be born with severe illnesses.

The tenor, who has sold over 90 million albums worldwide, emerged relatively unscathed when he came into the world in 1958, although he was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma – he eventually went completely blind aged 12 following a sporting accident.

Despite the misfortune he later suffered, Bocelli says he’ll always be grateful for his parents’ intervention.

He said: “My father Sandro and my mother Edi moulded my character, offering me an education that was invaluable during my whole life.”

Bocelli said his parents made him determined to never give up: “This is what my parents showed during my mother’s pregnancy when the doctors advised her to have an abortion because the baby would be born with severe illnesses. She ignored their advice and carried on with my father’s support. Without their courage and faith I would not be here today to tell the story.”

Read the full interview in this week’s Big Issue, on sale now.

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