In August this year, as Abigail Jones was born in Florida, US, her parents, Erica and Stephen, were already preparing to say goodbye to her. In the 18th week of pregnancy it was confirmed that this girl didn’t only have Down-Syndrome, but also an enormous malignant brain tumour, on which the doctors said that the couldn’t operate. They assumed, therefore, that Abigail would only live a few weeks. For this reason, the parents took there little one home, so that they could spend as much time with her as possible; even organising a photo-shoot so that they have the memory of their daughter forever in pictures.
What happen is actually quite different. Abigail developed magnificently, she grew, laughed heartily, and reacted to her surrounding. The weeks went by one by one, without the baby’s condition deteriorating. When Erica and Stephen Jones see this, they wonder if there little bundle of joy really has to die. The phoned all over the country to get a second opinion. In the renowned Boston Children’s Hospital they took an MRT of Abigail’s brain. What the image showed, changed the life of this small family from one day to the next.
“In the hospital in Florida Abigail was sent home to die. But I looked at the scans of Abigail’s brain again more closely and saw something else: that maybe the tumour isn’t malignent”, describes neurosurgeon Dr. Alan R. Cohen from the Boston Children’s Hospital. “I phone the mother and told her that we shouldn’t give up on Abigail just yet.”
As Abigail’s mum hung up the phone, she was absolutely swamped with feelings. Up until now, she had organised neither a child’s room or her daughter’s vaccinations, because she though that Abigail wouldn’t be around long enough. “I scared me to hold onto that hope. I’d let go of hope. Now suddenly, I believe again that my baby will live. Even when they say that there’s not a 100% chance of success. But I brace myself on this hope”, says Erica.
Then after another examination: the tumour is benign! It would be removed from the baby’s head in an operation. And in the opinion of the doctor, it wouldn’t come back: “her prognosis is brilliant”, said her doctor, Dr. Cohen. “This is a story with a very sad beginning and a very happy ending”. On their Facebook site, mum Erica let her joy of the “2nd birth” of her daughter roam: “I’m jumping for joy! I can hardly breathe, when I look at this wonderful girl. My girl. I can keep you! I can hardly wait to see how you live your live. Simply overwhelming!”
Erica and Stephen Jones had prepared themselves for the worst thing a parent could: to watch their own child die. But their hopes were worth it and now they won’t their loved and healing Abigail go so quickly.