British mother Lisa Nicholas was willing to risk her life to save her daughter.
While Nicholas was pregnant with her fifth child, she was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease and encouraged to have an abortion, the Buxton Advertiser reports.
Faced with a difficult decision, the Buxton, England mother and her husband chose life and hope instead.
Now, their daughter Lizzy is 2 years old and doing well. Because her mother chose life.
According to the report, Nicholas suffered from symptoms of Cushing’s disease for years before she was diagnosed. She said she had high blood pressure, lost hair and felt old and tired.
“I was constantly breaking bones – I broke my ankle twice, once putting the kids’ socks on and another time getting off a spin bike,” she said.
In April 2018, she was diagnosed with the disease; she also learned that she was 12-weeks pregnant – an extreme rarity with the disease, the report states.
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“It was nice to have some answers, but it got more complicated when I found out I was pregnant,” she said. “We didn’t plan to have another baby, but when I found I was pregnant, I was so excited.”
However, her doctors told her that continuing her pregnancy could cause additional problems; worse, she could lose the baby in a miscarriage or die herself. They asked her to consider an abortion, according to the report.
“I knew the dangers but I couldn’t give up on my baby,” Nicholas said. “I was offered an abortion but I said no. I wanted to see it through.”
Doctors also discovered a 2.5-centimeter tumor on her kidney. Though it was not cancerous, they told her it was life-threatening; and at 21 weeks of pregnancy, Nicholas underwent surgery to have it removed, according to the report.
All the while, she said she felt “terrified about losing Lizzy.” But both mother and baby made it through the surgery, and the pregnancy continued to progress.
Lizzy was born prematurely in February 2019, weighing a little less than 3 pounds. The tiny baby girl spent eight weeks at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport before she grew well enough to go home, according to the report.
Her mother spent time in the hospital, too.
“I was so poorly and so was she. They had to get her blood pressure down and kept her on oxygen,” Nicholas remembered. “At first, I couldn’t hold her, I could only see photos of her. When I finally saw her in the incubator she was so tiny.”
After two years, Lizzy and her mother are doing much better. Though Lizzy still has some health problems, Nicholas said she is doing “amazingly” well, considering all that they have been through.
“She’s such a little fighter, and after removing the tumor, my symptoms have pretty much gone,” she said.
The family’s story is a joyous one, but it also brings hope to other families in difficult circumstances. Doctors recommend abortion so frequently, failing to recognize that they have two patients in their care, not just one. Stories like the Nicholas family’s prove that there always is hope when mothers choose life for their unborn babies.