Mum Who Refused Abortion Has Healthy Baby

Mum Who Refused Abortion Has Healthy Baby
26 year old mum Dawn Lewis gave birth to a healthy boy after being told by doctors to have an abortion as her baby had an incurable condition.

Deacon Lewis, who is now a healthy six months old, was almost aborted after doctors told his mother after a routine 12 week scan that he almost certainly suffered from a chromosome disorder called Edward's syndrome which would eventually kill him.

Edwards Syndrome causes serious heart and kidney problems with less than half of babies surviving beyond eight weeks. At the scan, the doctor told Dawn that he was 99 per cent sure her baby had a chromosome 18 abnormality which was Edward's syndrome. Emma was told there would be absolutely no quality of life for her baby and a termination was advised.

Dawn and her partner had been trying for a baby for 4 years and so she refused to have an abortion and decided to seek a second opinion. After having been referred to the specialist maternity hospital, a more sophisticated test found no evidence at all of the disorder.

She said: 'I was absolutely delighted to find my baby was healthy but also horrified that I could have had him aborted... I was shocked that I had been advised to have a termination without first being offered a second scan and further tests. ....Thankfully we decided to pursue a second opinion because if we hadn't then Deacon may not have been here today.'

The couple have now made an official complaint to Rochdale Infirmary in Greater Manchester over the severe distress caused by the alleged mistake and have also warned other prospective parents that medical advice to terminate a pregnancy may not always be correct.

Dawn said: 'We are really shocked that the experts we trusted got this so badly wrong and we think it's important to let other people know they don't always get things right.'

Because Dawn's pregnancy was too early for a amniocentesis test, when she returned for a second opinion, doctors tested a tiny sample of tissue from the placenta. The results showed that her baby did not suffer from the abnormality.

Deacon was born a healthy baby at Rochdale Infirmary last year and the couple have no complaints about their treatment during the birth.

March 2009

Edward's syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra chromosome resulting in heart abnormalities, kidney malformations, and other internal organ disorders. It affects around one in around 3,000 babies with less than 10 per cent of sufferers surviving beyond their first year.

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