LifeNews readers who enjoyed last week’s inspirational story of Baby Teddy Houlston will be delighted to hear that another family facing a diagnosis of anencephaly for their unborn baby are drawing comfort and support from the heroism of Teddy, the UK’s youngest organ donor.
Elisha and Dermot McGill from Coleraine in Northern Ireland have been told that their unborn baby – a girl whom they have named Annie – is suffering from anencephaly, the same rare and usually fatal condition as Teddy.
They say that they have drawn immense strength and courage from the selfless example of Teddy’s parents, Jess Evans and Mike Houlston who spoke about their decision to donate Teddy’s organs when he died less than two hours after his birth alongside twin brother Noah.
Teddy’s donated kidneys later saved the life of an adult and the McGills are now preparing for the birth of Annie in 18 days’ time, expecting that hers will be a short life but hopeful that even if this is the case, she will be able to follow in Teddy’s footsteps and become a lifesaver.
“We have been preparing ourselves from December 1st, when we were told the diagnosis, to what lies ahead in 18 days. Time is a great healer and to have that time to prepare yourself mentally and physically is important. We see it as a celebration of Annie. It will be emotional, but we hope it gives hope to other families.”
The McGills are raising two little boys already, two-year-old Ollie and one-year-old Bobby. They say that the support of Teddy’s parents, who got in touch when they heard about Annie via her parents’ Facebook page, has been very helpful, as have the messages of support from all around the world.
“We have had many private messages from all parts of the world asking and praying for our Annie, which is very heart touching for Dermot and myself. I can’t believe that she hasn’t been born yet, but is helping to raise awareness around the world about anecephaly and organ donation.”
Annie’s story is likely to continue to raise global awareness of both anencephaly and organ donation. Teddy’s surgery, and the one that will be carried out by doctors if and when Annie passes away are pioneering events. Her parents will need the support of their medical team and their family and friends to continue with their very courageous decision.
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As Elisha wrote on their Facebook page:
“Sometimes you just wish that you could be told you will have a set amount of time with Annie, so you can prepare better to make the most of that time and prepare for all the emotions that will follow.”
And, in the midst of everything, it is clear that this courageous family is still hoping to continue Teddy’s “positive legacy” of helping others:
“I couldn’t be any prouder of my husband, my baby girl Annie and our two boys Ollie and Bobby and really hope that this will help others who may have to face what we are going through in the future.”