NORWICH, England — A mother in England is thankful that her daughter, now one, is defying expectations after being advised to abort her child in the womb because of a heart condition that “wouldn’t be compatible with life.”
“When I was pregnant, they told me to have an abortion over 10 times because they said she wouldn’t be compatible with life, it would be a real struggle and she probably wouldn’t live until her first birthday,” Chloe Conlin, 21, of Norwich, told The Sun.
But Conlin wouldn’t give up on her daughter, who was diagnosed with right atrial isomerism, a condition “that occurs when the axes of the body fail to rotate correctly when developing in the womb.” It most always involves the heart, although other organs such as the stomach, intestines and liver may also be affected.
“Without corrective surgery, most children with heterotaxy syndrome and significant heart problems will not survive beyond the first year of life,” writes the U.S.-based Pediatric Heart Specialists of Dallas. “Prognosis is difficult to determine for the group as a whole because of the varying degree of heart defects. Fortunately, with advances in medical technology over the past 20 years, survival rates have increased significantly.”
Little Miyah underwent open heart surgery last December and is now home with her parents, learning to talk and walk at 14 months.
“She’s doing really well at the moment,” Conlin told The Sun. “She’s started walking. They told me she wouldn’t be reaching her milestones. She took her first steps about three weeks ago.”
“She’s running around now. She says ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ and she shakes her head ‘no,'” she joyed.
Conlin says that she was informed of Miyah’s condition during her 20-week pregnancy checkup and was advised to abort numerous times. She ignored the repeated suggestions.
Miyah still has another surgery ahead of her, and it not certain how many years she will have, but her family is grateful to have her and to have her home.
“She’s got another one coming up in the next couple of years and that will be her last surgery that they can do for her, then after that it will be to see how far she can actually go,” Conlin explained. “They can’t fix her heart; they can only help her live longer, so it’s palliative care.”
However, after having her initial heart operation, “[s]he hasn’t had any major hospital admissions since then. She’s been doing really well.”
As previously reported, in 2016, a New York mother similarly shared her story of refusing abortion after being told that her daughter had congenital heart defects and probably wouldn’t make it to birth.
This week, Johanna Kemick posted an update on her daughter, noting that while there is no cure for her condition, “This little miracle is thriving. We are still reminded she’s battling and has been in heart failure almost 3 years now, but that’s 3 more years then I was told I’d have with her.”
“God is so good and I am so thankful for every day I get to hear her tell me ‘stop’ or throws a toddler tantrum because with that also comes smiles, giggles and laughter. A child that is happy despite the challenges and obstacles she continues to overcome.”