Every mother’s worst nightmare is hearing that the doctor is suspicious of their baby’s health. In 2013, my sister went through the most difficult period of her life when she heard the frightening doctor’s words in Egypt, “You should have an abortion.”
Below is my sister’s story and before you get all teary, just know that thank God this story has a happy ending:
In 2013, I found out that the baby in my tummy had a rare lung disease called CCAM (Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation). I was in Egypt at the time and the doctors confirmed it, but told me to let the baby go. They predicted that this baby would not live to be born, and if she did then she would not breathe. And if she did, then she would live on breathing machines for as long, or short as she lived.
Laying down on the bed while the doctor scanned my tummy, I looked at the screen, at the beautiful baby girl who I always dreamt of having, who was not fully formed yet, sucking her thumb, crying, hearing the doctors words that we should take immediate action to take her out and end her life, before her disease moved on to me.
He told me how he had only seen this rare disease 3 times in his life, and how all 3 times they had opted to end it. But in my case, it was the worst he had ever seen in his many many years of experience.
She would need immediate intervention, and intervention that can not be done in Egypt because they do not have the sufficient equipment or expertise. And even then, the chance of her living was minor -1 digit percentages- and if she would make it through the procedure in my tummy, she wouldn’t make it through birth.
I was lucky enough to be a British citizen and called the doctors there. There was one Greek fetal surgeon who had done it before and was willing to take the risk. I flew back to London and went to see the doctor who did the surgery on my daughter while she was in my tummy, as I watched on the screen, with many doctors and interns watching this textbook case to learn about it.
She made it through this procedure, I had to take very painful steroid shots for three days and I was checked on every two weeks to see if the baby was still alive and whether her disease had been transmitted to me or not.
Three months later I was in labour. My baby girl was born, but as they had expected, she didn’t breathe. She was shown to me very quickly by the surgeon and put on breathing machines and rushed away.
A few hours later they came to my husband and I, and gave us the awful form saying she must be operated on immediately and that I need to sign that I understand this operation could kill her or cause damage to the heart.
It was the hardest thing I had to do. I signed it then walked tiredly to see my baby girl in the intensive care unit with millions of tubes coming in and out of her. After the longest 6 hours of my life, Miraculously, Talya made it out of surgery. Her Surgeon, Mr. Desai had removed parts of her lung, but she was alive!
Three months later, I left intensive care with my baby girl and took her home to meet her brother Omar who had been so patient with his mum being so busy staying at the hospital away from him all day for 3 months.
Almost five years later, and one other surgery performed three years ago by the same amazing surgeon, I watch her spin around like a butterfly at her end-of-year performance with her beautiful curly hair and fringe that frames her face and sparkly olive green eyes proving to the world that “miracles do happen”.
Conclusion: Never take no for an answer, believe your heart, have faith, know that God CAN do miracles and thank the Lord for all the people, doctors, family and friends around you, who prayed, supported, and stood by you when you thought you could never make it.