Mum told to ‘pop to England’ says ‘abortion was not an option’

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In the lead up to Ireland’s referendum on abortion on Friday, we take a look at those affected by the issue on both sides of the debate.

Voters will decide whether or not to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment, which gives equal right to life to the mother and the unborn child.

Vicky Wall, who discovered her unborn daughter Líadán had the rare genetic disorder Edward’s syndrome, believes passionately that abortion should remain illegal in Ireland.

Here, she shares her heartbreaking story with Sky News.

In 2014 I found out I was pregnant with my third child. It was a bit of a shock. I was 37. When the shock settled we were overjoyed and all went well until 24 weeks, when I was told at a scan there may be a problem with her, so we went to Dublin to get her checked.

In Dublin we were told she had Edward’s syndrome and then I was told she was incompatible with life. I didn’t know what either of those terms meant.

People will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment and end a constitutional ban on abortion Mum told to 'pop to England' says 'abortion was not an option' Mum told to ‘pop to England’ says ‘abortion was not an option’ skynews ireland abortion 4316227
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People will vote on whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment and end a ban on abortion

So I asked how could I help her, what could we do and I was told my only option was to pop to England. The doctor was insinuating an abortion to end her life.

At this moment, I was in one of the poshest maternity hospitals in Dublin, there was a 15-inch screen in front of me showing my little daughter and she was sucking her fingers, she was kicking, I could feel her kicking and I felt so protective over her. She was sick and she needed me and I would protect her.

I was given no information. I think he knew by my face that abortion would not be an option for us. It wouldn’t have been our right to abort her. She was unique and she was our daughter and she was valued to us so we decided to go back home for our care.

So we got to have scans whenever we wanted and we were allowed to bring family members down and they would sit in for the scans and get to see her growing and moving.

I asked my consultant if she was in pain or discomfort and he told me all she could feel was me loving her.

Vicky's baby Líadán was diagnosed with Edward's syndrome Mum told to 'pop to England' says 'abortion was not an option' Mum told to ‘pop to England’ says ‘abortion was not an option’ skynews abortion ireland 4316252
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Vicky’s baby Líadán was diagnosed with Edward’s syndrome

He told me to leave work and spend time with her, so I did. I came out of work and my dad built a patio at the end of the garden and we would spend the day with her talking to her, telling her Dr Seuss stories and how much we loved her. My older children would play music into my bump for her. I knew we had to spend what time we had we her.

I got to 32 weeks and she started slowing down in her movements, I was very aware of her movements and we were at home one afternoon and she had been quiet all day and a friend of mine called and I told her I was really worried about the baby.

And she told me to have some cake to get her moving – and she did, she used to move after sweet things. I was so overjoyed to feel that kick but an hour after that I got a really bad pain and Líadán never kicked again.

We knew then she was gone. We went to hospital for the scan to be sure, to check, and the scan was so still. I screamed and I felt guilty afterwards because it was a maternity hospital and there were other mothers there but it just came out.



Leo Varadkar says there is no complacency Mum told to 'pop to England' says 'abortion was not an option' Mum told to ‘pop to England’ says ‘abortion was not an option’ skynews ireland referendum 4315766




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Irish PM says vote is ‘once in a generation’

But she died at home with her family with love and dignity and on her terms and I take great comfort in that – that we didn’t travel and we didn’t have an injection to stop her heart.

It was a Thursday and we went home and we told family and friends that she had died and everyone came around and we all had pizza and it was almost like a wake, everyone came to be around us.

We went into hospital on the Sunday to be induced and she was born on 17 August. She looked perfect, you would never have known there was anything wrong with her.

And we got to bring her home and for her family to say hello and goodbye. We got to bring her home for one day and the next day we buried her. So many people came to her funeral and that helped me so much with our grief.



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