Doctors told Liane and Iain Stooke that their baby Miley was brain damaged, after the prospective parents of anew baby had an ultrasound scan. The physicians at Frenchay Hospital suggested that they have an abortion when they said the scan showed Miley would be severely brain-damaged.
The couple agonized over the decision and decided to give their little girl a chance at life — and their instinct paid off. Miley was born perfectly healthy — a shock to them after the doctors’ assurance she would have physical problems and that the imaging and diagnosis had been wrong.
Liane Stooke, 38, tells the London Daily Mail newspaper she is glad her motherly instinct proved doctors wrong. Stooke said: ‘We were told Miley was probably severely brain damaged and wouldn’t be able to communicate with or recognize us.
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‘The doctors said she might never walk, talk, or recognise our faces,’ said Mrs Stooke, a bank administrator. ‘It was also possible she’d be physically and facially deformed. There were a lot of unknowns.’
Although Mrs Stooke was, at 30 weeks pregnant, beyond the normal limit for abortion, doctors advised termination as an option because holoprosencephaly would prevent the child from enjoying a meaningful quality of life.
Holoprosencephaly is a condition in which the front part of the brain of an embryo fails to form two hemispheres.
The condition varies in severity but about 80 per cent of children with holoprosencephaly have facial abnormalities.
‘The doctor said it wasn’t too late if we wanted to abort the baby – he made it sound almost as if there was no other option,’ said Mrs Stooke.I just couldn’t let go of my child, but I also had to think of the baby’s quality of life.
‘My instinct was that if the child would one day be capable of recognising us and of knowing who we are, we couldn’t go through with it.CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
‘We were told there was still a very slim chance that the baby would recognise us. We exchanged a look and both knew instantly that we couldn’t agree to the termination.’
The couple braced themselves and Mrs Stooke delivered her daughter by Caesarean section in October 2011.
After the birth, the couple, from Bristol, were amazed to discover that, far from being physically deformed, their daughter was perfectly well.