A miracle baby, who doctors thought would have severe abnormalities and had urged the parents to abort, is now thriving. The mother refused to end her pregnancy, and is now talking about how her daughter has survived against all odds.
Willow is a happy, normal 9-month-old toddler, and by looking at her, you would never guess that she was in danger of being aborted. However, her mother ignored doctors advice that she end her pregnancy, and she couldn’t be happier. The miracle baby was born at two pounds, six ounces, after her mother’s water broke at just 23 weeks.
“Doctors feared Leanne and Chris Duffield’s baby would suffer potentially-fatal abnormalities caused by a lack of amniotic fluid,” Wales Online reports.
Physicians taking care of Leanne were convinced the baby would not be able to use her lungs normally, and called a midwife to comfort the couple, who are parents to four other children.
“She had so many different things that were stacking up against her. She is our miracle baby,” said Leanne, who lives with husband Chris and her children in Wales.
Willow stayed in the hospital for close to 100 days until her tiny lungs were strong enough to allow her to go home with oxygen. Now Leanne and her husband are starting a fundraising campaign to help them pay for the medical costs involved, after nurses who cared for the miracle baby encouraged them. Leanne suffered a placental abruption that could have killed both her and the baby.
“There are so many bad stories and so much negative press, but if it wasn’t for them myself and Willow wouldn’t be here today.”
“We will never be able to repay them for what they have done for us, but it’s just something to say thank you and that their work is appreciated.”
Up until last Halloween, the mother of five was having a normal pregnancy, but a scan revealed serious problems with her condition, which completely changed the scenario.
“When we went for the 20-week scan we found there was no fluid around her and they thought there was some sort of abnormality causing the lack of fluid,” said Leanne.
Although doctors were not sure how the lack of amniotic fluid occurred, they suspected the stress of the death of Leanne’s father could have contributed to the deficiency. A week after the scan results were communicated to the couple, the fetal medicine unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff suggested they terminate the pregnancy.
“We didn’t even have to talk about it. It was one of those things we would never have even considered. It didn’t even enter our thoughts.”
Later on, Leanne was scheduled for another appointment, but never made it as her water broke without warning at 23 weeks. At that point in a pregnancy, doctors considered the fetus not viable and moreover, they feared the baby’s lungs would be too small to breath even with the assistance of a ventilator.
In mid-December a scan indicated that Willow’s limbs were all normal, but doctors still worried that she would have severe abnormalities due to the lack of amniotic fluid. Leanne was placed on strict bed rest and given steroids to fight Willow’s lung problems. They needed a miracle.
On January 13, 2014, Leanne suffered from a potentially deadly placental abruption, in which the placenta separates from the inside of the womb and Willow was delivered by emergency cesarean section. Doctors were surprised that, despite her chronic lung disease, Willow did not have any of the problems they had expected to see with her spine and limbs.
Leanne says doctors believe that, as she grows, the damage to her lungs will be reduced, and at the most she could suffer from asthma, a treatable condition. So far, Willow — the miracle baby — is hitting all her developmental targets, to the surprise of doctors at the Prince of Wales hospital.
“The amount of hospital appointments is getting less and less and at the moment she is hitting all the targets she should be. With premature babies they should have caught up with their peers by two years.
“We call her the happy wheezer and considering what she has been through, she is so happy. One of the nurses said that she has seen some defects in similar situations where they are incompatible with life, so we are really lucky.”
Leanne says her daughter still uses oxygen at times, especially at night. The incredible story of baby Willow is truly inspirational, and she is proof that medical miracles still do happen.
[Image via Wales Online]