In the United Kingdom, Fay and Michael Murrish were thrilled to be expecting their third baby. But at their 20-week scan they found out some devastating news— their unborn baby had a life-threating heart condition called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and had a very low chance of survival. In fact, doctors felt so strongly about their baby’s dire outcome that they recommended abortion twice.
However, the couple refused abortion after their baby started kicking in the womb and an ultrasound showed something remarkable.
Fay explained, “We were told Chanel could have operations, but would have only a 50-50 chance of surviving the first and would need two more. Even her life expectancy would only be to young adulthood and she would eventually need a heart transplant. When you hear that you wonder if you could bring a child into the world. But Chanel started kicking. There was no way I could have a termination. I know she wanted to live because she was giving a huge thumbs-up at her scan.”
In 2014, Chanel Murrish was born via Caesarean section and was rushed into surgery. She became the youngest baby ever to undergo open-heart surgery in the United Kingdom and is now thriving. Fay concluded, “Chanel is going from strength to strength having got through not just the first operation but a second procedure at the age of just seven days.”
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According to the Center for Disease control, HLHS is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart and as the baby develops, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. Research finds that HLHS is extremely rare but it does have a high mortality rate, accounting for approximately 23% of neonatal deaths. The condition can be detected on a fetal echocardiography, although in many cases it isn’t diagnosed until after birth because the unborn child appears to be developing normally.
As LifeNews previously reported, in 2012 Scarlett Crowther was born with the same condition as Chanel. She may not have made it at all had her mom decided to have an abortion, but Scarlett’s mother rejected that idea. Scarlett was given a 50/50 chance of surviving the defect just like Chanel but went through two successful heart operations, with one of them coming at five days after birth. Now mother and baby are doing much better, with her mother Rebecca Turner calling her a “little fighter.”
“When I hold her now I just can’t believe how healthy and happy she is. She’s my miracle baby,” Turner said.