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Woman gives birth to healthy child after doctors advised abortion

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When Liane Stooke was told her daughter would be born “severely brain damaged” she faced the agonising decision of whether to act on the advice of doctors to terminate.

But her mother’s instinct helped her decide to proceed with the birth of her daughter Miley, who was born perfectly healthy in October 2011.

Diagnosis ‘completely wrong’

Mrs Stooke said that two days after Miley was born an MRI scan found that there was nothing wrong with her at all.

She says the only explanation was that the original imaging and diagnosis had been completely wrong.

Joy to anger

Mrs Stooke was so angered at the advice doctors gave her to abort that she wrote to Dr Chris Burton, the medical director of North Bristol NHS, requesting an explanation for the mistakes which had been made.

Dr Burton said: “North Bristol NHS Trust investigated Mr and Mrs Stooke's concerns thoroughly and provided a full response in February 2012, in which we expressed our unreserved sympathy for the distress they suffered.

“We are happy to meet with the family to discuss any on-going concerns that they may have.”

Initially a scan at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol showed a shadow on Miley’s brain. After a second scan doctors diagnosed Miley with a condition known as holoprosencephaly, which probably meant she was severely brain damaged.

Abortion limit

Despite Mrs Stooke being past the normal limit for abortion at 30 weeks pregnant, doctors advised her to terminate, saying Miley’s condition would restrict her from having any meaningful quality of life.

“The doctor said it wasn't too late if we wanted to abort the baby - he made it sound almost as if there was no other option,” said Mrs Stooke, 38.

Mrs Stooke and her husband Ian were told Miley wouldn’t be able to recognise them and would have no way of communicating and may never walk. 

“It was a terrible decision to have to come to. We agonised over what we should do right up until the last minute,” explained Mrs Stooke.

Waking nightmare

“I was shocked - it was as if I was having an out-of-body experience. I thought I was watching someone else getting the news. It was a dreadful experience.”

She added: “It was a waking nightmare. We agonised every minute over what to do - and every time I felt her kick inside me, my heart broke.”

Now Miley is able to walk, talk and enjoys laughing with her two brothers.


Daily Mail