Excited, Samuel’s mother went to the doctor for a routine ante natal check-up and scan. She had no idea what lay ahead.
While she was pregnant, Samuel was diagnosed with congenital hydrocephalus, a condition which causes accumulation of water (cerebro-spinal fluid) around the brain as the drainage system is blocked. They were referred for higher-level scanning which confirmed that his was very severe and there was a good chance he might not survive very long after birth. The doctors offered what is called a therapeutic termination – an abortion for children with very serious, untreatable conditions. The family was thrown into a state of anxiety, devastation and confusion.
Our palliative care team met the family at home and gently took them through all the possible scenarios that might occur. We helped them to thrash out the pros and cons of them all and make a good decision for themselves and of course, for Samuel.
Samuel was born and has had numerous challenges but through the dedicated care of his family, the expertise of specialists and ongoing support from the palliative care team, he is a happy and loved little boy.