A British mother and daughter are preparing to spend Christmas at home for the first time, more than a year after doctors thought baby Miyah would die.
Eastern Daily Press reports Chole Conlin, 21, of Norwich, England, was encouraged to consider aborting Miyah at least 10 times during her pregnancy.
Half of Miyah’s heart is missing, a rare heart condition called right atrial isomerism, and doctors thought she would not live to her first birthday, the report states.
When she was diagnosed with the condition at 20 weeks of pregnancy, doctors told her mother that aborting Miyah might be a better option than giving her a chance at life.
“When I was pregnant they told me to have an abortion over 10 times because they said she wouldn’t be compatible with life, it would be a real struggle,” Conlin said.
Each time, however, Conlin refused.
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Miyah was born 14 months ago at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Last Christmas Eve, she underwent open-heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, according to the News & Star. So, this Christmas will be the family’s first at home together.
“She hasn’t had any major hospital admissions since then,” her mother said. “She’s been doing really well. She’s got another one coming up in the next couple of years and that will be her last surgery that they can do for her, then after that it will be to see how far she can actually go.
“They can’t fix her heart, they can only help her live longer, so it’s palliative care,” Conlin continued.
She said 14-month-old Miyah is talking and beginning to walk – milestones that doctors thought she would never reach.
“She’s doing really well at the moment,” her mother said. “She took her first steps about three weeks ago, and she’s running around now.”
When mothers choose life for their unborn babies, they also choose hope. Often doctors’ diagnoses are correct but sometimes they are wrong. Either way, a baby in the womb deserves a chance at life, and whether short or long, every child’s life has value.