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The mother insisted on birth only for a few hours with anencephaly

  • Author:Hopely Li
  • Release on:2017-01-22

Abbey Ahern, 34, who lives in Oklahoma, was devastated when she was told at her 19-week scan that her daughter had the terminal illness anencephaly which meant she would not live beyond a few hours.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the defect means the baby has an underdeveloped brain and incomplete skull.
Approximately one in 10,000 babies in the US are born with anencephaly, most of which result in miscarriage.
As a result, Abbey and her pilot husband Robert, also 34, decided to have a live birth so that they could spend time with their daughter and donate her organs - making Annie the first infant newborn donor in the state.
Afterwards they asked the doctor for the gender of their unborn child and decided to name her on the spot. They named her easily: Annie, which means, "grace."
Abbey told: 'Carrying a terminally-ill baby to term was by far the most difficult thing I have ever done... For us, even in the midst of our terrible heartbreak we were able to see so much beauty.'
The family spent just 14 hours and 58 minutes with Annie before she passed away.
Her organs were not viable for transplant because her oxygen levels were too low - which Abbey said was 'disappointing' - but they were able to donate her heart valves and some of her organs could be used for research.
She said: 'Annie's story is one of hope. I think it shows people that in the midst of tragedy, there can be beauty.

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