Autumn and David Dunn were excited last spring when they learned that their fourth child was on the way.
A few months later, the Bettendorf, Iowa received some heartbreaking news: Their unborn daughter had several potentially fatal organ problems and probably would not live long, Fox 17 in Iowa reports.
“They said that she would live anywhere from a few minutes to a few months after her birth,” Autumn explained on a donations page for the family. “At each of the next appointments her prognosis got worse and they told us that she would likely pass away in utero or during labor.”
Today, baby Fiona Grace Dunn is defying doctor’s predictions. Born on Jan. 3, she now is home and doing well, according to the report.
The Dunns said the bad news about their daughter came several months into the pregnancy. Doctors diagnosed Fiona with Holoprosencephaly Semilobar, a brain disorder where the lobes do not separate. They also said she had heart and liver problems, according to the report.
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“Just a few days before, we had my mom’s funeral. So my dad and I were planning on buying two plots so that they could be next to each other. The doctors gave me the option to terminate the pregnancy, but I knew that wasn’t an option for me,” her mother told the news station.
Fiona Grace was born on Jan. 3, weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces, according to the report. Doctors told the family that their baby girl’s heart was beating strong and her brain did not show signs of holoprosencephaly. The newborn does have a cyst on her brain, and quickly had surgery to drain it. However, doctors said she is doing well. She now is home with her family.
“She still has a lot of obstacles to overcome, but she has a much brighter diagnosis,” Amber said. “Our sweet girl is a miracle.”
Stories like Fiona’s give families hope in the face of a heartbreaking diagnosis. So often, parents are pressured to abort their unborn babies when they receive a fatal diagnosis.
“Southern Bell” reality show star Jennifer Snowden is another example. She also chose life after seriously considering abortion for her son, Ascher. Similar to what happened with the Dunns, doctors’ predictions about Ascher’s brain condition also turned out to be much less severe than expected.
Snowden said two people gave her hope when so many others were pushing her toward abortion: her hairstylist and a neurosurgeon. Now, she wants to pass on that hope to others.
“Now Ascher is my purpose and sharing his story so that maybe even just one woman who’s in the position I was in, sees there is hope,” Snowden said.