ENTERTAINMENT

Infants who have had groundbreaking operations in the womb defy the chances of walking – and even splash in puddles


A mother beams when her daughter masters the art of walking even though doctors tell them she is paralyzed.

Bethan Simpson, 27, of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, says she could have collapsed in shock when she saw her daughter Elouise, now one, take her first steps.

After Eloise was diagnosed with spina bifida before she was born, she was told by doctors at Bethan that her daughter would not walk because her spine was not developing properly. This meant that the nerves that control her legs weren't going to work properly.

But heartwarming material shows the determined one-year-old who walks confidently through her house and garden and dares to walk down the street to splash in puddles.

Bethan Simpson of Essex beams when her daughter Elouise masters the art of walking despite learning from doctors that she would be paralyzed before undoing antenatal spine surgery

Elouise is learning to walk

Elouise had an operation before she was born

Doctors told Bethan that her baby may never leave until they have fetal repair surgery

Bethan has been offered resignation twice but she turned it down and now she enjoys watching Elouise meet her milestones.

The mother of one added, “When I saw her take the first steps, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I was shocked. I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn't imagining it.

“I was so emotional, I was proud of Elouise, that she had so much strength and determination and made great progress that she had actually learned to walk.

“It's something people take for granted, but we couldn't have been happier to see them run and thrive.

"We thought she would need a lot of help all her life, so it was special to see her do this on her own."

When Bethan was 20 weeks pregnant, she did a routine scan which showed that there were some problems with Elouise's head.

Pictured: Bethan before she was about to give birth to her daughter Elouise in April last year

Pictured: Bethan before she was about to give birth to her daughter Elouise in April last year

The Simpsons started IVF treatment in 2018 after trying to have a baby for three years. It worked on the second try (Image: Bethan and Kieron Simpson, pictured with Baby Elouise in 2019)

The Simpsons started IVF treatment in 2018 after trying to have a baby for three years. It worked on the second try (Image: Bethan and Kieron Simpson, pictured with Baby Elouise in 2019)

The midwife suspected this could be due to spina bifida – when a baby's spine and spinal cord fail to develop properly in the womb and a gap appears in the spine.

Bethan was sent for further tests, which confirmed Elouise had the condition.

Bethan, a mental health nurse, said, “When I heard this news, I immediately thought I was losing my baby.

The doctors told me that she would be paralyzed from the waist down, not using her bladder and bowels, and be intellectually retarded.

“I felt like my world was collapsing around me. I was completely devastated, mostly because Elouise was IVF designed. I thought we had invested so much time and now I might lose my baby.

To my horror, after spina bifida was discovered, I was offered a resignation.

“That really got me going as I never thought I would be offered this.

Within two days of my scan, I was referred to a hospital in London, where I had another ultrasound and my options were explained to me.

“I was offered another resignation, or Elouise could have a postnatal repair, or another operation that would take place while she was still in the womb. We would be the fourth family to have this operation.

Elouise (pictured) is now one and has taken her first steps at her Burnham, Essex home

Elouise (pictured) is now one and has taken her first steps at her Burnham, Essex home

“We agreed to the new operation as it seemed like the best option for us. So we had the operation on January 8th, 2019, Elouise only weighed 450 grams. She was amazing in the operation, although it wasn't guaranteed to work.

After the surgery, I was on strict bed rest and in a wheelchair to try to stay pregnant and prevent premature labor.

On April 1, 2019, I had a scheduled caesarean section where I gave birth to Elouise. It was the best moment of my life being able to hold onto my little girl after everything we'd been through. & # 39;

Elouise's parents, Bethan and Kieron Simpson, 29, had an expectation that their baby would become weak and need a lot of extra help and support. However, Elouise has exceeded her and the doctor's expectations with her advances.

Bethan said, “I was stunned when she started crawling and then walking. I always thought we would wait in abeyance and wonder if she was going to hit milestones, but she completely surprised us and defied all odds.

“I was so overwhelmed that I didn't know what to do. It was an incredible achievement.

“When I see her walking around, it confirms to me why we were soldiers and went through the operation and why abortion would never be an option for us.

"It proves that she should always be here, wobbling and leading her best life."

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