BRISTOL, England — A mother in the UK is sharing her story of how she gave birth to a healthy baby girl after she had been advised to abort her child, who was diagnosed with brain damage.
Liane and Ian Stooke have two young sons, and in 2011, they discovered that they would be welcoming another child into the world. The news was joyous to the family—that is, until doctors found a shadow on the baby’s brain.
“It felt awful to see the doctors looking so worried,” Liane, 38, told the Daily Mail. “They immediately ordered another urgent scan.”
However, when the second scan also showed a shadow, doctors at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol diagnosed the child with holoprosencephaly. They told the Stookes that the child, a girl, was brain damaged and would never live a normal life.
The Stookes were even more hurt and confused when they were advised to consider abortion because of their daughter’s perceived condition.
“The doctors said she might never walk, talk or recognize our faces,” Liane explained. “It was also possible she’d be physically and facially deformed. There were a lot of unknowns.”
The couple seriously considered abortion for a time upon the advise of the doctors.
“We agonized every minute over what to do, and every time I felt her kick inside me, my heart broke,” Liane said.
But realizing that there remained even a slight chance of hope for their daughter, the Stookes decided to carry her through to birth.
The couple held out for the worst as Liane was wheeled in for a Caesarean section in October 2011. However, much to the surprise of everyone in the room, the child—now named Miley—was in perfect health.
“The midwives were baffled. The doctors ran the standard tests and Miley passed them all with flying colors,” Liane stated. “Two days later, Miley had another MRI scan and we were told she didn’t have holoprosencephaly at all. In fact, she was completely healthy.”
“The only explanation is that the original imaging and diagnosis had been completely wrong,” she said.
While the Stookes were relieved that their baby girl was not brain damaged after all, their joy soon turned to anger as they realized that they could have aborted their daughter. They filed a complaint against the hospital over the situation, expressing their outrage.
Liane told the Daily Mail that she is thankful that she and her husband allowed their baby to be born despite the dire diagnosis and the doctors’ urging to abort.
“I’m just so glad I trusted my mother’s instinct and gave my girl the chance to live,” she said.
Miley is now two years old and remains in good health.
Photo: Daily Mail