When 28-year-old Kayley Newbold was five months pregnant, she and her partner, 33-year-old Gary Clark, were given devastating news: Their baby girl had a rare and severe congenital heart defect.
Doctors told the parents from Grimsby, England, that their unborn daughter had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which affects blood flow through the heart and stops the left side from forming correctly. The only way to save their baby would be for her to go through major surgery just days after being born.
The couple was faced with three options: terminate the pregnancy, give birth and let their baby pass away as comfortably as possible, or give birth and have her get surgery. They decided to take a chance on surgery.
The brave parents welcomed Honey-Rose into the world on December 19. Then, they got another shock. Doctors believed that surgery would be too risky.
“When she was born they told us that she might only have a few hours to live. She had a scan after the birth and the results weren’t good. So we were told that if they did operate then there was only a slim chance of survival,” Newbold said.
Heartbroken, Newbold and Clark took Honey-Rose to a hospice facility for end-of-life care. But they weren’t ready to give up yet. Newbold said, “It didn’t look like she was dying.”
They chose to get a second opinion after being encouraged by Honey-Rose’s five-month-old second cousin, Reggie Aslin. He was born with the same heart condition and survived surgery.
Finally, they convinced another doctor from the same hospital to try the eight-hour operation. Honey-Rose went under the knife at just a week old, and miraculously, she made it through.
Unfortunately, her parents were told that she likely won’t survive past her teens and that she’ll need two more surgeries when she turns five. But they say that they’re focused on enjoying as much time with her as possible.
“Some days we both feel like crying and some days are ok. When we look at her she’s so beautiful and we are just trying to enjoy her. It’s always in the back on my mind but we don’t want to think about it,” Clark said. “We will just take each day as it comes now.”
I can’t imagine the strength it took to make such a hard decision for their baby. Be sure to SHARE Honey-Rose’s story of beating the odds with all your friends and family!
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