By Dan Coles
A mum who was told to abort her daughter and ‘start again’ by a doctor when her unborn child was diagnosed with a rare tumour has proved medics wrong – as her beautiful daughter is thriving.
Wendy Wong, 41, from Newcastle Upon Tyne, says medics told her her daughter had been conceived with a ‘bad egg’ when she was diagnosed with a Cycstic Hygroma – a condition that causes the build up of fluid-filled cysts – before birth.
Her daughter Savannah was born with a tumour on her neck the same size as her head – but after successful treatment, Savannah is a healthy and happy five year old.
Wendy, and husband Alex, 38, who live in Nevada, USA, are sharing their story to show parents that Cycstic Hygroma – which is estimated to affect one per cent of newborn babies – is a manageable condition.
Cystic Hygroma is a collection of fluid-filled sacs, or cysts, that result from a malformation of the lymphatic system, usually detected before birth.
Wendy said: “When I was 22 weeks pregnant I saw a doctor who told me there was a lump on my baby’s neck and he would need a couple of weeks to do some research on what it could be.
“He made us sit for two weeks, when we went back to the doctor and he told me to abort our baby at 24 weeks, and that we could ‘start again.’
“I told him that I could feel her moving inside me; there was no way I could go through with a termination.
“He said there’s two options, I could class the baby as a bad egg, or go through with it and she’ll either die inside me after birth or on the operating table.
“We did some research and I demanded a second opinion.
“We saw another doctor who told us that he’d seen much worse cases than ours, so we were determined to fight it.
“There are a lot of single mums and families that think they can’t have a baby with this condition and I want to tell them that this condition is manageable and to look at my daughter for proof.”
After two months in hospital, Savannah could go home due to an experimental drug called Sirolimus, a liquid based oral medicine which is added to Savannah’s milk which drains the cysts in her body.
Savannah celebrated her 5th birthday on June 24, 2019, and is thriving.
Alex added: “Doctors suggested the experimental treatment and it worked so well, watching Savannah every day is the best part of all of this.
“Seeing her do anything, whether it’s something usual or not has provided us with such joy.”
The condition occurs in one percent of births and if detected too late can end in only a 10% chance of survival.
In Savannah’s case, the tumour that grew on her neck was at first believed to of been operable but after being born, on day two after being born, she was diagnosed with Cystic Hygroma and has defied the doctor that told her parents that she was a “bad egg”.
After just a month, Savannah was back at home with her family and has since grown up to be a perfectly capable little girl.
In June 2018, Savannah graduated from preschool, getting her first diploma and has celebrated five birthdays.
She is currently with her family in London celebrating her fifth birthday and visiting her extended family in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Wendy said: “I wish everyone knew how capable they can be at coping with this conclusion to their pregnancy, mums have messaged me online asking about Savannah and the reality of the condition.
“I just tell them that there’s nothing stopping their child in having a completely full life, and Savannah is evidence of that.
“If I could go back now to the moment the doctor told me to get rid of her, I would call him a bunch of nasty names.
“It’s not easy trying to have a baby, he was very anal about everything and he just thought because he was the doctor, we should listen to him.”
Alex added: “We’re glad that we didn’t, and now we have our wonderful daughter in our lives.”