Human Interest

Doctors pressured them to abort. At the next scan, the baby’s condition had ‘disappeared’


Kimberley James and her husband Nick were first told to abort their baby at just 12 weeks gestation. And they continued to protect their child throughout the pregnancy, even though the pressure to abort didn’t stop.

“We said no because it was absolutely not what we wanted to do,” she told The Scottish Sun. “We asked them why and unfortunately they couldn’t give us an answer. We thought if they don’t know what it is then we’ll say ‘no’, even if it was a really poor diagnosis.”

According to 7 News, an ultrasound at 12 weeks showed that the baby was swollen and she was diagnosed with hydrops fetalis, which has a survival rate of just 10 percent. In addition, doctors said the preborn baby girl had cystic hygroma which is a fluid-filled sac caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system. With such a diagnosis, the pressure was on from the medical team to abort.


“It must have been three or four people I was told, quite forcibly, that a termination was the best option,” James told 7 News. “In the end, we paid to have private scans and blood tests but we were determined to go ahead with the pregnancy.”

Those additional tests call came back negative and by 20 weeks gestation, each of the health conditions the baby had been diagnosed with had completely disappeared.

“At 16 weeks we went back to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for a scan and they were gobsmacked the hydrops were gone, which was the reason they had offered the termination. They didn’t know how it had disappeared and said it was unheard of.”

READ: She refused abortion after a fatal diagnosis: It was a ‘painful and wonderful journey’

By 20 weeks, the cystic hygroma was gone as well. The doctors were “shocked.”

On May 9, baby Penelope made her debut weighing seven pounds, six ounces. Doctors examined her carefully to find that she was completely fine.

“Penelope defied all odds […] We are so in love with her and so thankful that we continued with the pregnancy despite the extremely poor prognosis at the start,” James told The Scottish Sun. “The doctors all said it was unheard of for the hydrops to disappear and we still to this day don’t know what caused it or why it went away. She is our miracle baby.”

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