Tragically, the few babies who escape abortion and are born with anencephaly don’t typically live very long. But a little girl in Rhode island has defied the odds and turned 8 months old this past week.
Angela’s family has done everything to help her condition — and Angela underwent a three-hour surgery in May to close an opening at the top of her head. Angela was born with an encephalocele, another neural tube defect characterized by sac-like protrusions of the brain and membranes that cover it through openings in the skull. During the surgery, doctors removed the encephalocele, and closed the opening.
Here is an update on Angela:
Little Angela just celebrated her 8 month birthday last week after being given less than a month to live when she was diagnosed with anencephaly. It’s a rare disorder that causes a baby’s brain and skull not to develop.
“Doctors can be wrong. She proved that,” said Angela’s mother, Sonia Antana.
She said that the doctors have changed their diagnosis. Now they say Angela has encephalocele. It’s still a rare and terminal disorder causing the bones of the skull to not close completely. That means there is a small piece of brain present, and it is growing. That helps explain how Angela has made it to 8 months and counting.
“We never thought that this was going to happen because before when we met, she was here for her death. She was here because there was nothing else we could do,” she said.
“God is so good and he’s using Angela just to prove that these babies can live. Let them live.”
That was certainly the big question when Angela received her original diagnosis while still in the womb…. Doctors recommended terminating the pregnancy, but Sonia and her husband Rony say that was never a thought.
“You don’t have to choose abortion for these cases,” she said. “No. For any reason, you don’t have to terminate the pregnancy. There is a life there. So we never, not even for a second, thought about abortion – no!”
Those babies 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.