It is a moment she feared would never happen. Beaming with motherly pride, Bethan Simpson holds her healthy daughter just weeks after the unborn baby had groundbreaking surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida.
She was discharged from hospital last week with baby Elouise who is now kicking and gurgling – showing no signs of the condition that could have left her with lifelong disabilities.
Despite enduring 20 hospital visits, Mrs Simpson, 26, and her husband Kieron, 28, are so in love with their baby that they are determined to have more children.
Looking adoringly at 14-day-old Elouise, Mrs Simpson, a nurse, said: ‘Her legs kick, her toes curl. Bless her, she doesn’t even know the impact she has had. It’s a miracle, that’s the only way I can describe it. We may have been through a lot, but I’d do it for Elouise all over again in a heartbeat.’
Elated: Bethan Simpson (pictured) was discharged from hospital last week with baby Elouise who is now kicking and gurgling
The Simpsons began IVF treatment in 2018 after three years trying for a baby. It worked on the second attempt and, overjoyed, they began planning for the new arrival (pictured: Bethan and Kieron Simpson)
The Simpsons began IVF treatment in 2018 after three years trying for a baby. It worked on the second attempt and, overjoyed, they began planning for the new arrival. But a midwife at St Peter’s Hospital in Maldon, Essex, spotted an abnormality during the 20-week scan and said the baby might have spina bifida because the head was not the right size.
‘I was hysterical as soon as she said something was wrong,’ Mrs Simpson said. ‘I could see it in her face and then she said, “I’m sorry guys, I’m finding something that’s not right”.’
The unborn baby was diagnosed with myelomeningocele spina bifida at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford later that day. This occurs when the spine and spinal cord do not develop normally. Instead, the spinal canal remains open along several vertebrae. It leads to nerve damage that can cause paralysis in the legs, loss of bowel or bladder control, and in some cases