Doctor Refused to Help Their Baby With Trisomy 18, Now She Has Passed Away

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2015   |   5:17PM   |   Washington, DC

Last month, LifeNews carried a story about a baby with Trisomy 18 whose parents were aghast when doctors told them they wouldn’t do everything possible to care for her.

Eliana was alive, but with many obstacles in her way, including the holes in her heart and several other heart complications. The holes in the heart can cause heart failure which creates too much pressure on the lungs and causes the lungs to fill up with fluid. Eliana’s doctors were looking into solutions including heart surgery, but Eliana was too little for surgery. Jesi and I were both surprised to see that Eliana appeared to be getting good help because most parents of T18 children have to fight for care.

Her doctors had told Naomi and Matthew that Eliana would have to grow to 9 lbs before they could do the heart surgery, but this statement did not sit well with me because our own daughter was expected to have heart surgery as well yet at a much smaller size. I checked with our cardiologist who said Eliana was too little, but only needed to get to about 5 lbs before surgery could be done.


Eliana continued to live and grow even though doctors did not think she would survive and said there was nothing else to be done. In fact, she was showing signs of heart failure and things began to look bleak. Matthew and Naomi wanted to look for second opinions at a number of hospitals around the country. Their neonatologist came to see them since they were requesting multiple second opinions. The doctor was irritated with them which took them by surprise.

The doctor said “We have gone above and beyond what we should have even done for Eliana.”

And there it is, he just revealed his heart. They were “helping” Eliana because they thought that she was going to die, but now that she was living much longer than expected, the doctors began to push Matthew and Naomi to let go of Eliana. Suddenly, their advice was to remove Eliana from the breathing assistance that she was receiving and let her suffocate to death.

Naomi and Matthew were determined to help their daughter and found a doctor in St. Louis willing to do heart surgery so they began making preparations to leave. Despite the adamant demand by their neonatologist to let Eliana die, a cardiologist at their current hospital found out about Eliana’s situation and offered to do the surgery suggested by the St. Louis doctor. The plan would be to use a catheter to reach Eliana’s heart and make the hole between the upper chambers of her heart larger to lower the pressure going to her lungs. Then they would do open heart surgery and place a band around her artery to also help remove pressure.

Eliana did well after the surgery.

“Eliana had survived, but not just survived. After the cardiologist did the catheter procedure and placed the stint to hold open the hole, they checked the pressure to her lungs. It dropped from a very high 18 to normal pressure of 8 so they did not even have to do the open heart surgery. Eliana is doing extremely well and continuing to grow,” LifeNews writer Brad Smith wrote last month.

Now sadly, news has come in that Eliana has died.

Naomi and Matthew Coy, who had documented Eliana’s life on their Facebook page, have posted that she has passed away.

“Thank you to all who love our daughter. We appreciate your support!  Eliana went from my arms into the arms of Jesus at 4:35am.  We ask for your prayers for our family as we grieve. We miss her terribly,” she posted.

Naomi said her baby was a “miracle baby” that doctors had urged her to have an abortion.

“On one hand, we had the doctors telling us ‘Stop trying, she’s gonna die. Let her die.’ But my conscience was saying ‘No, I’m not gonna let my daughter die. I’m gonna fight for her.’  Most Trisomy-18 babies are labeled as ‘incompatible with life’ and most doctors really push abortion,” Coy added.