Health desk-4 may 2021: After six failed IVF rounds, Helena almost gave up her hope of giving birth to a second child. But in her seventh attempt, she became pregnant and everything seemed to be going well until she was scanned for 20 weeks.
There, Helena was told that her daughter had spina bifida. Helena recalled: “Her back had a large legion with half of the spine exposed. They said that it was very likely that she would be paralyzed, incontinent, and needed to be shunted to drain the fluid from the brain.”
When they told me all the possible outcomes of suffering from this disease, I was by my side and I couldn’t stop crying.
“They told me that the probability of her walking or moving her legs is very low, which is absolutely devastating.”
Within a few days, Helena was sent for testing and told her that she was eligible for surgery. At 23 weeks of pregnancy, she went to a specialist hospital in Belgium, which cooperated with the NHS.
A team of about 25 clinicians performed complex surgery to repair the baby’s exposed spinal cord and close the hole in her back.
Helena said: “I know that if she does not undergo surgery, her quality of life will be very different.”
Professor Anna David, a fetal medicine consultant at University College London, said: “Previously, the defect could be repaired after the baby was born-but now we can perform surgery in the womb and the defect can be closed earlier, so this means The spine is less injured.
“This increases the child’s chances of walking and better control of the bladder and intestines.” Helena gave birth to her daughter Milagro after three months at University College Hospital in London. Spanish means milagro or miracle surgery.
Mila still has fluid in her brain, but so far, she has shown good signs of growth.