Choose Life! Baby operated on while still in mother’s womb

NZ Herald 1 August 2015
A baby’s life was saved by a pioneering operation carried out when she was still in her mother’s womb.

Michelle Cannon had been advised to have an abortion after receiving the devastating news that her unborn daughter had a rare and usually deadly condition.

Fluid was building up in the baby’s chest and crushing her lungs, but at 22 weeks she was too premature to be delivered.

Yet her 31-year-old mother refused to abandon hope, and after hours of online research came across “in-womb surgery” – a procedure which has been carried out only a few times in the world.

“There was no way we were going to give up on her,” said Miss Cannon, who lives in Doncaster with her partner Gareth Dawson, 24. ‘I burst into tears when I was told the news. But one thing was for certain, we were adamant we were going to keep this baby.”

The couple approached doctors at the nearby Sheffield Teaching Hospitals maternity unit to ask if they would carry out the risky operation – which can potentially cause a miscarriage or trigger a premature labour.

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