Born With Anencephaly, Baby Angela Was Supposed to Die. But She Continues to Defy the Odds

National   Steven Ertelt   Jun 23, 2015   |   12:52PM    Washington, DC

LifeNews has frequently profiled Baby Angela, the little girl born with anencephaly who was supposed to die. But one year and two months later, she continues to defy the odds.

On March 23rd, a daughter was born to Sonia and Rony Morales. But it was just five months prior to her birth that the couple found out their daughter had fatal birth defects. And according to doctors, the best option for their unborn child was to end her life through abortion. Thankfully, the Morales family said no.

As LifeNews previously reported, their daughter had Anencephaly, which is a severe form of spina bifida where a failure of fusion of the neural rube in early pregnancy results in the baby developing without cerebral hemispheres, including the neocortex. Tragically, most babies who survive to birth almost always die in the first hours or days after birth.

Sonia said, “They told us she had fatal birth defects, that she was incompatible for life, because babies with her birth defect sometimes are stillborn or die just after birth. They gave her no chance. We had three ultrasounds that confirmed the diagnosis. They used the word ‘terminate,’ but for us, that meant abortion — killing our child.”

However, the couple refused and decided to name their daughter Angela, because it means messenger of God. Sonya said, “She would be our angel, our Angela. We thought she was going to heaven right away.”

The LiveAction blog has a new update with more information on how Angela is doing:

Angela is alive and thriving, leaving doctors scratching their heads and her parents urging other couples to think twice before ending the lives of babies with similar prenatal diagnoses.

Angela is a year old and seemingly thriving, confounding the doctors who were once sure she would never make it outside the safety of her mother’s womb.

“She’s making progress every day,” Sonia told WPRI. “Tiny, tiny little things, for us are big, big milestones.”

While Angela still lags far behind her peers developmentally, she can lift her head, smile, and roll over – achievements that spurred her doctors to change her diagnosis from anencephaly to encephalocele – a condition in which only part of her brain is intact and growing.

“It’s something that we didn’t expect to happen,” Sonia told NBC 10. “But God had other plans, and He gave us this time.”

To WPRI, Sonia said, “We’ll take care of her until God decides to take her away, and God has already given her to us for one year.”

The Morales family maintains a Facebook page for baby Angela, where she has more than 4,000 followers praying for her and monitoring her miraculous progress.

“We just do it because we just want to show her life and we want to show that sometimes the doctors can be wrong,” Sonia told NBC 10 about their ongoing social media outreach.

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The Morales have created a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses, as well as a Facebook page to document their journey as a family.

Although the Morales don’t know if Angela will ever talk or even make it to her second birthday, they strive to make sure she lives every day to the fullest.

The family still goes on those trips – to the park, to the beach – but now they take Angela with them. They’ve even gone hiking in New Hampshire.

“Disabilities don’t stop people from living,” Sonia says. “We took her out in the snow, and when it’s nice out I describe to her how beautiful the trees and flowers are because she can’t see.”

Those babies diagnosed with anencephaly who survive to birth almost all die in the first hours or days after birth. There is no curative treatment available, only symptom relief. Over 95% of parents opt for abortion in countries where this is legal and 208 babies with the condition were aborted in England and Wales in 2012, for example.

But Baby Angela is proof that there can be beauty from ashes when a family chooses life.

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