Pregnant New Zealand woman undergoes surgery in Australia for son with spina bifida
Human Interest

Pregnant New Zealand woman undergoes surgery in Australia for son with spina bifida

Photo via Facebook Catherine Harper

Catherine Harper of Auckland, New Zealand, flew to Brisbane, Australia, in December to receive surgery on her preborn son who was diagnosed with a severe form of spina bifida. The procedure, which must be performed between 16 and 26 weeks gestation, has been available in the United States for years, but was only successfully completed for the first time in Australia in July 2016 and has never been performed in New Zealand.

“Usually termination is the main option in New Zealand, but there is still a chance you might have an amazing child,” Harper told the New Zealand Herald.

She and her husband Paul have a three-year-old son named Jackson. Their second son was diagnosed in utero with Spina Bifida myleomenigeocele and Chiari 2 malformation, according to the family’s Give a Little fundraising page. Myleomenigeocele is a form of spina bifida which is considered severe, and symptoms include decreased ability to walk, problems with bladder and bowel control, hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), and a tethered spinal cord. Chiari 2 is a malformation in which the cerebellum and brain stem tissue extend into the hole at the base of the skull.

According to the fundraising page, surgery can help reduce both the risks of death and brain damage in children with spina bifida. In addition, it can increase the chances of walking by 80% and has the potential to reduce future hospitalizations and surgeries.

The surgery was performed at 25 weeks gestation on December 29 after undergoing numerous tests and awaiting approval from surgeons in the United States for surgeons in Australia to perform the surgery.

“The surgery was successful and baby Harper is yet again safe inside his mum, and we hope he decides to stay there for the next 13 weeks,” friends wrote on the Give a Little page. “Everything went according to the surgery team’s plan, and Catherine spent five days in intensive care but is now recovering on the ward at Mater Hospital.”

While the official results of the surgery won’t be known for weeks, the family has high hopes for the baby’s future.

“We are trying everything possible to make our son’s life better,” said Harper. “[…] Anyone what has a kid knows you would do anything for them.”

Dear Reader:

Stories like the one you just read transform hearts and minds.

For example, one of our followers, Ross, messaged us and commented:

“I began to question my pro-choice views after reading articles about Live Action…Live Action is primarily responsible for my becoming Pro-Life through their well-thought-out, scientific information and the emotionally and uplifting stories of real people with real experiences in saving the lives of their children regardless of what others might say.”

Knowledge is power and CAN open eyes to SEE the truth. And, YOU can provide the spark to transform someone’s mind, just like Ross.

The DAILY publishing at Live Action News is only made possible through generous people, like you, who give $5, $10, or $25.

Your gift today will not only keep these stories coming in 2020, but also help us open more eyes and change minds to be fully pro-life and save lives.

Will you join us in creating a world where the killing of preborn children is unthinkable and support Live Action News by making your tax-deductible gift today?


Most Popular

To Top