Girl born with vital organs outside body is flourishing after parents refused abortion

A two-year-old from Cambridge born with her stomach, liver and bowel on the outside of her body continues to defy the odds after her parents rejected advice from doctors to have an abortion.

Doctors did not expect Laurel Phizacklea, who was born with a major exomphalos – a condition which occurs when the baby’s abdominal wall does not form during pregnancy – to survive birth.

They advised her parents, Kelly and Sean, to consider abortion following a 12-week scan. But they refused, wanting to give their daughter a chance at life, now Laurel continues to defy expectations.

Over the past two years, skin has formed around the organs, and Laurel can eat, drink and go to the toilet like any other toddler.

At the beginning of 2021, the little fighter should be able to have corrective surgery placing her vital organs back inside her body.

Blindsided

Kelly and Sean were over the moon when they discovered they were expecting their first child in October 2017.

The couple excitedly attended their 12-week scan but were blindsided when doctors said something was wrong and offered them a termination.

Doctors explained that their unborn baby had exomphalos.

Early in all pregnancies, the intestine develops inside the umbilical cord and then usually moves inside the abdomen a few weeks later.

In exomphalos, the intestines – and in this case the stomach, liver and bowel – remain inside the umbilical cord but outside the abdomen.

‘It’s OK, you can try again’

Doctors were also determined that Laurel had a spinal abornomality – and advised Kelly and Sean to have an abortion.

“We couldn’t quite believe what we were hearing when they offered us an abortion,” Kelly told the Mail.

“People kept saying: ‘It’s OK, you can try again’ – but I didn’t want another baby.

“I was so in love with this baby and we knew we would do everything we could for her.”

‘From that moment on we knew she was a fighter’

Kelly continued with her pregnancy and went for scans every two weeks to monitor the progress of her unborn baby.

Three weeks before Laurel’s birth, doctors discovered the exomphalos had doubled in size – prompting medics to take both Kelly and Sean aside to tell them their daughter would not survive birth.

However, on June 6th 2018, Laurel let out a cry after being delivered by caesarean section.

“When we heard her cry out I couldn’t believe it,” Kelly said. “Both Sean and I just burst into tears.

“We knew it was far from the end of it – but to hear her cry was a huge relief and from that moment we knew she was a fighter.”

Laurel was born weighing a healthy 7lb 5oz (3.3kg), and put straight on a ventilator before being transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit.

After seven hours, Kelly and Sean were finally able to meet their daughter properly for the first time.

“Her tummy was swaddled in bandages,” Kelly said. “We knew to expect it to look different – so we weren’t scared at all.”

Kelly and Sean were provided with a room at the hospital by the Sick Children’s Trust so they could be with their daughter during her three and a half month stay in Addenbrookes Hospital.

Doctors were worried that Laurel wouldn’t be able to breathe on her own, as it is common in exomphalos cases for the lungs not to have formed properly – but again Laurel defied the odds.

A bright future

Now, the two-year-old is flourishing at home as she awaits corrective surgery to have her organs internalised at the beginning of 2021.

Laurel will undergo the operation at King’s College Hospital, London.

Kelly said: “It is a scary thought, and there are definitely concerns.

“But Laurel has already been through so much, and I am sure she will continue to take everything in her stride.”

Although it will be a relief for both Kelly and Sean when they don’t have to worry about their daughter’s every move, they do worry that it will cause a certain amount of separation anxiety for the tot.

“She loves her tummy so much,” explained Kelly. “She rubs it in the bath when I take the dressing off to wash her and says ‘ah tummy’.

“It’s very cute, and she couldn’t be prouder of it. But I do worry about how she’ll react when it’s not there anymore.”

She added: “I don’t know how we remained positive throughout my pregnancy with Laurel. It really looked as if she wouldn’t survive birth, but Sean and I never gave up hope and she has done us so proud.

“Her pouch of organs on her tummy is a part of her and she doesn’t let it get her down. Laurel is a true inspiration and amazes us every day.”

Woman branded ‘inhumane’ for rejecting abortion is now a proud mother

One woman who was branded “inhumane” for rejecting abortion on multiple occasions is now the proud mother of three-year-old twins.

Hannah Morris was devastated when doctors told to have an abortion at 16 weeks, after her waters broke prematurely.

However, she decided to ignore doctors’ advice and instead trust her gut instinct. As a result, she is the proud mother of healthy twins, George and Alfie King.

‘It is your only option’

Hannah and her partner, Mark King, were ecstatic when they found out that they were expecting twins.

But between 16 weeks and 20 weeks of pregnancy, both of the twins’ amniotic sacs burst – the first just after 16 weeks of pregnancy and the second around three weeks later.

Doctors diagnosed Hannah with preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) and told the couple to have an abortion as neither baby had any chance of survival.

Recalling the events, Hannah described the experience as “really traumatic”.

She told The Sun: “I had an internal examination and the doctor told me that my waters had broken, and he was really sorry but there was nothing they could do for us.

“I asked a million questions, can the other baby survive? Can it reseal?

“They said, ‘no, there was a 100 per cent chance that this baby won’t survive, you need to have to have some medicine to induce labour, it’s your only option’.

“I didn’t want to do that. My gut was telling me not to follow the advice.

“I knew nothing about PPROM. I didn’t know it was a thing before then. I just rejected all the medical advice.

“I said ‘if I am going to lose them, I lose them naturally and I’ll let nature take its course’.”

Continued pressure to abort

After two days in hospital, a scan revealed that both babies were still healthy and the couple were sent home.

A week later, at a follow-up appointment, doctors again advised Hannah to have an abortion. The 27-year-old was told that if her babies survived to 24 weeks, their limbs would be stuck together and their vital organs wouldn’t be functional.

“[They said] I was only causing them more pain by carrying on with the pregnancy.

“We were considering at this point terminating the pregnancies because this was coming from top consultants,” Hannah revealed.

Yet, each week the pair would go for a scan where they’d be reassured that their babies were healthy.

Despite this, doctors continued to tell the couple to consider an abortion.

Hannah said: “That’s what pushed us to carry on with the pregnancy every single week. We would see the boys on the screen and they would be fine.

“The sonographer would say his lungs are developed, so the kidneys are fine.

“The doctors reviewed it each week and say it looks like they are doing fine but that is going to change so you need to terminate the pregnancy.”

Against all medical advice, Hannah made it to 34 weeks and had a cesarean section.

George was born first weighing 5lb 4oz (2.38kg) and Alfie followed at 4lb 1oz (1.84kg) – both spending four days in a neonatal intensive care unit before being allowed home.

Healthy and thriving

Despite Alfie being born with holes in his heart and George suffering a weakened immune system due to their premature births, both toddlers are now healthy and thriving.

Hannah said: “Taking our boys home was amazing. Just to know that we were right and that we had made the right decision by our children.

“They had defeated all the odds and they were strong, healthy little boys. They are now so cheeky and you look at them and think, wow, you nearly weren’t here.

“What would my life have been like if I hadn’t had them? They are both amazing, they’re awesome.”

Hannah said she was sharing her story to raise awareness of PPROM so that other parents in her situation are better informed.

“They might not necessarily get a positive outcome – they might lose their child.

“But if they have support from other parents who know what they’ve been through it’s going to make the experience easier for them.

“To know as well that they do have other options. Your child can survive this. They may be poorly at the end of it, but they can get through to the other side…

“…The stories of PPROM need to be shared more often so that people know it’s something that does happen.”

‘Babies can and do survive this’

Ciara Curran,the founder of Little Heartbeats who advised Hannah with advice throughout and following her pregnancy, said: “Hannah and her little surviving PPROM babies are living proof these babies can survive with little to zero fluids.

“These babies clearly demonstrate why we need to raise awareness of PPROM, and that terminating the pregnancy is not the only option, as these are just a few of the many babies who have survived…

“All too often [women] are told there is no hope and that their only option is to terminate, but babies can and do survive this.

“If women are supported to continue their pregnancy, with good medical management, there is a chance that they will be able to bring home a surviving baby.

“We are however all too aware that not all babies can survive PPROM, and we are anxious to support women through their PPROM pregnancy regardless of outcome.”

Mother speaks of joy after baby who had spina bifida surgery in the womb learns to walk

The mother of a one-year-old girl who had pioneering spine surgery while still in the womb has told the BBC seeing her daughter walk is “amazing”.

After diagnosing Elouise with spina bifida, doctors had offered her parents a termination, saying the outcome was “bleak”.

Her parents, Kieron and Bethan Simpson, refused and Elouise is flourishing having recently taken her first steps.

‘Hope in the darkness’

The Simpsons were overjoyed when they found out they were expecting a baby, but were left disheartened when a midwife discovered their baby had a disability during the 20-week scan.

However, two days later, a specialist at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) told the couple about the possibility of a ground-breaking new surgery.

Instead of a termination, Bethan and Kieron the parents were able to choose foetal repair surgery in January 2019 and were among the first families in the UK to do so.

“There was a bit of hope in that darkness,” Bethan said.

The mental health nurse underwent a five-hour operation at 25 weeks, during which her womb was opened and a series of tiny stitches were used to close the gap in Elouise’s spine.

Bethan and Elouise were among the first in the UK to undergo the procedure in January 2019.

The successful surgery was funded by a charitable trust between UCLH and Great Ormond Street Hospital, but has since been made routinely available on the NHS.

Since that surgery, Elouise has celebrated her first birthday in lockdown and has recently begun to walk.

Bethan said they would “forever” be in the debt of staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London Hospital.

Describing seeing her daughter walk, she added: “It makes us feel amazing, she is an absolute joy. She’s everything you could want and more in a child, actually. She’s perfect…”

Dominic Thompson, consultant paediatric neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “It is wonderful to see that Elouise is doing so well.

“As a paediatric consultant, it is very special and rewarding to meet someone that you operated on before they were even born, and I still get the wow factor when I get to see these children in clinic for follow up.”

‘Misinformed’

Earlier this year, Bethan raised concerns that pregnant women are being misinformed on spina bifida.

“Since becoming a mum I’ve had the chance to reflect on that traumatic time. My only option was to fight. But most importantly, it was about being informed.”

“There is a lot of negative information around spina bifida.”

“Without being fully informed as parents, Elouise would not be where she is now.”

A better option

Her concerns were shared by a mother who described the relentless pressure she faced to have an abortion after doctors diagnosed her baby with spina bifida last year.

Natalie Halson, who refused an abortion ten times, said doctors “made out like an abortion was my only option and explained that if I went ahead with the pregnancy my baby would be wheelchair bound and have no quality of life.”

“When I got off the phone I went and did tonnes of research and found out that there were options for my little girl – I felt suddenly really angry that they had made out I had none.”

Kanye West reveals how Kim Kardashian saved their daughter when he wanted an abortion, just like his mother saved his life

Two weeks after announcing his decision to enter the 2020 US presidential race, a tearful Kanye West has revealed how his wife Kim Kardashian saved their daughter from a potential abortion.  

The 43-year-old rap mogul made the announcement as he broke down in tears during his first campaign event in South Carolina yesterday.

West said he was still living the “rapper’s lifestyle” when Kardashian found out she was pregnant with their oldest child, North.

The musical talent, who was the highest-paid hip-hop artist of 2019, admitted that he did not want the baby but praised his Kim Kardashian for protecting their baby.

“She brought North into the world, even when I didn’t want to,” he said. “She stood up and she protected that child.”

“I was living the rapper’s lifestyle,” West disclosed. “For one month and two months and three months, we talked about her not having this child. She had the [abortion] pills in her hand…. these pills, if you take the pills, that’s a wrap. The baby’s gone….”

West said he believed God spoke to him during that time and that’s why he decided abortion was not an option to pursue.

“And I called my wife, and she said ‘we’re gonna have this baby,’” he recalled. “I said, ‘we’re gonna have this child.’”

“She brought North into the world, even when I didn’t want to, she stood up and she protected that child,” he said full of praise for Kim Kardashian.

West likened his wife’s actions to those of his mother, saying: “You know who else protected a child?… Forty-three years ago who do you think protected a child? My mom saved my life!

“My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life! There would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy.”

Breaking down in tears, he said: “There would have been no North West. I almost killed my daughter! I almost killed my daughter!”

West will dedicate the name of his next album to his mother, Donda, who died in 2007.  

The father-of-four suggested he would incentivise women not to have an abortion through policies which would offer them support.

He said it ‘takes a village’ to raise a child, emphasizing that he wanted all mothers to be free from worries about raising a baby.

Kim Kardashian gave birth to her and Kanye’s first child, North, on 15 June, 2013.

The couple now have four children together; North (7), Saint (four), Psalm (one), and daughter Chicago (two).

West announced his presidential dream on Independence Day (4 July).

Kanye West’s journey to becoming pro-life

Last year, he declared his new-found pro-life views in an interview with radio host Big Boy while promoting his new album, Jesus Is King.

He said that black Americans have been “brainwashed” into voting for the Democratic Party despite the fact the party promotes pro-abortion policies that are harmful to them.

West, who has sold 21 million albums and over 100 million digital downloads worldwide, said: “We’re [black Americans] brainwashed out here, bro. Come on, man. This is a free man talking. 

“Democrats had us voting for Democrats with food stamps for years. What are you talking about guns in the 80s, taking the fathers out the home, Plan B, lowering our votes, making us abort children. Thou shall not kill… I can’t tell y’all how to feel. But what I can tell you honestly, is how I feel.”

The comments represent a huge change for West who has previously appeared supportive of abortion. In 2013, his song ‘Blood on the Leaves’ he promoted abortion as a way to avoid the responsibility of fatherhood and the consequences of an extra-marital affair.

Speaking of his pro-life views West insisted he wasn’t worried about being “cancelled” by fans over his new Christian and pro-life beliefs.

He said, “I’ve been cancelled, I’ve been cancelled before they had cancel culture. I was cancelled before they had the term.”

Kanye isn’t alone in feeling like this. Black Americans are an increasingly significant part of the pro-life movement with prominent campaigners calling out the US largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, claiming that it targets Black American communities.

Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger notoriously wrote, in 1939, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Planned Parenthood has more recently been caught on video accepting donations for racist and eugenic abortions.Recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics revealed that in one US State, African-Americans represent 32.2 percent of the population but 62.4 percent of abortions. By contrast, white people represent 60.8 percent of the population but 24.7 percent of abortions. Even abortion activist groups, such as the Guttmacher Institute admit that black women are more than 5 times as likely as white women to have an abortion.