A New York mother is celebrating the life of her miracle baby a year after she refused her doctors’ advice to abort because of the child’s serious congenital heart defects and the subsequent chances that she wouldn’t be born alive.
Johanna Morton recently shared her story on social media, recounting how an ultrasound on Dec. 23, 2015 “did not turn out as planned.”
“I was 12 weeks gestation when we were told something was wrong with my baby’s heart. I was told she will not survive. ‘You will miscarry,’ [they said],” Morton recounted. “I left the office in tears and heartbroken.”
She said that with each week that passed, her baby’s heart beat slower and slower, and it was found that the child had a full heart block and an atrioventricular (AV) canal defect, as well heterotaxy syndrome. One of the baby’s heart valves was possibly not growing either.
“With each new appointment seemed to come another diagnosis, another heartbreak and a waterfall of tears,” Morton said. “I was told, ‘She’s going to be stillborn. Save yourself the pain,’ [and] ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if you come back next week, and have her still born.’ There was little to no hope for my baby.”
But Morton and her husband held to their faith in God and would not entertain the thought of ending their child’s life.
“We were told she would not make it past 18 weeks. Then once she did, we were told she she most likely would be born still not long after 20 weeks,” she recounted on her GoFundMe page. “We never gave it a second thought. We knew our daughter had a fighting chance.”
The Mortons continued to press forward and pray.
“It was up to her to fight. The only thing we could do… was pray,” she said. “We continued to celebrate our baby’s life, no matter what odds were against her. We had a reveal party, a baby shower and even made a beautiful nursery.”
The couple named their daughter Clara Ray, and on June 14, she entered the world via C-section and was transported straight to Boston Children’s Hospital, where she had open heart surgery days later.
A month later, Clara Ray was allowed to go home, and much to her delight, she was able to see her first snowfall last month. Morton shared photos of the moment to accompany her post.
“She is a miracle,” she wrote. “This is her seeing her first snowfall. She absolutely loved it. I can’t explain the emotions we felt as we watched that smile come across her face. Pure joy.”
Baby Clara Ray’s story has gone viral on the “Love What Matters” Facebook page, generating 119K likes as of press time. The family has also raised over $18,000 of their $40,000 goal to cover medical expenses.