Mom Declined Lifesaving Treatment for One Twin Because it Could Have Killed Both Girls

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2014   |   6:09PM   |   Washington, DC

In a heartbreaking case out of England, the mother of unborn twin girls says she decided to turn down lifesaving treatment for one of her twins because doctors informed her it could result in taking both their lives.

Dwynwen Davies, 30, picked up slapped cheek syndrome while pregnant, according to the London Daily Mail newspaper and, because was not immune to the virus so it was passed onto one of her twins. Doctors offered to give baby Martha a potentially lifesaving transfusion but she denied it because they informed her it would claim the lives of both babies.

daviesSlapped cheek disease commonly affects children and causes bright red cheeks. For most people, this illness is no worse than a cold. Rarely, if a pregnant woman gets this infection, there can be serious consequences to her unborn child, including miscarriage. Most unborn babies are not affected, even when they get this infection.

Martha died in the womb at 28 weeks but baby Cadi survived. What would you have done if you were in her situation?

Here’s more on this heart-wrenching story:

But 28 weeks into her pregnancy, she received the devastating news she had passed away in the womb.

While it is not guaranteed, a blood transfusion could have saved Martha as the virus causes anaemia in unborn babies and a transfusion can replace the red blood cells that are depleted by the illness.

However, the procedure comes with a risk of miscarriage.

Luckily, Cadi fought on and was delivered successfully seven weeks later despite the risk of her also picking up the infection.
Ms Davies said: ‘I couldn’t risk losing both of my girls, so I just had to hope that Martha would pull through without treatment.‘It was a terrible decision to make, but with doctors advising against a transfusion too, I knew I had made the right choice.‘Sadly, I was told she had no heartbeat at my 28-week scan, I then had to carry both babies for another seven weeks.



At this stage of the pregnancy, 28 weeks, it is considered too dangerous for the twin who is still alive to be delivered early – so he or she must stay inside the mother’s womb until doctors decide the moment is appropriate, monitoring the mother closely.

‘I’m extremely lucky that I have Cadi but that doesn’t stop the grieving or ease the pain of losing a child.’