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‘Our babies deserve the chance of life’

Group pictured at the event held to raise awareness on 'Trisomy' at St. Columb's Park House on Thursday morning. From left Jennifer Donaghey, Charlene McCabe, Laura Savage, Christine Barnett, Glen Houston, Chief Executive RQIA, Stuart Savage, Patrick Donaghey, Bernadette Smyth and Gemma Bradley-Holmes. DER1614MC80

Group pictured at the event held to raise awareness on 'Trisomy' at St. Columb's Park House on Thursday morning. From left Jennifer Donaghey, Charlene McCabe, Laura Savage, Christine Barnett, Glen Houston, Chief Executive RQIA, Stuart Savage, Patrick Donaghey, Bernadette Smyth and Gemma Bradley-Holmes. DER1614MC80

A bereaved mother from Derry is leading a campaign for better care for parents faced with the devastating diagnosis their children aren’t likely to survive past birth.

Gemma Bradley’s baby daughter Lily Rose was stillborn in December - having been diagnosed with Trisomy 18 (Edwards’ Syndrome) - a condition considered by medical professionals to be “incompatible with life”.

Now Gemma and her husband David have joined with other Trisomy parents from across Northern Ireland to tackle what they describe as the “heartless and disgusting” way in which parents who face such heartache are treated by medical professionals. Gemma and four other families, along with Precious Life campaigner Bernadette Smyth, met with representatives of health care body RQIA on Friday to call for radical changes to the system.

“When we were told Lily Rose had Trisomy - we were not given any information. We were not given any counselling. We were told to go home and Google the condition. The things we saw were horrifying. I remember just crying and crying at the laptop. “

“We were told our child was incompatible with life - that no efforts would be made to keep her alive if she was born breathing.”

Gemma’s experience mirrors that of many parents from throughout Northern Ireland. The North currently only has one dedicated bereavement midwife - based in the Ulster Hospital in Belfast.

“What we are calling for is for parents who have had such a diagnosis to be given support.

“We believe such parents should have a dedicated midwife appointed to them so that they do not have to tell their story over and over again.

“And most of all we believe our children should not be written off before they have had a chance to live. Our babies deserve more.”

To see more visit www.facebook.com/ MylaFaithTrisomy18

 

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