Another baby survives near “cut-off” point in Great Britain, mother calls on government to revisit “guidelines” for treating premature babies born before 24 weeks gestation

By Dave Andrusko

Miracle baby: Rachel Crockett with son Connor Walkow

Miracle baby: Rachel Crockett with son Connor Walkow

Editor’s note. This appeared in the current digital edition of National Right to Life News. You can read the entire 38-page issue at www.nrlc.org/uploads/NRLNews/NRLNEWSOCT2014.pdf

The latest in a string of stories about premature babies surviving in Great Britain continues to challenge the “guidance” by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine that it is “in the best interests of the baby, and standard practice, for resuscitation not to be carried out” if the baby is under 24 weeks gestation.

A little over a year ago Rachel Crockett’s water broke while she was in a McDonald’s. She told the Leighton Buzzard Observer (LBO) that at that point

“I was 23 weeks and two days pregnant, which is just short of the 24-week cut off point.

“It was a real panic for us, we didn’t know what to do at all. We were told that they [doctors at Milton Keynes Hospital] said they couldn’t do anything for us but Craig and I pushed them to ring other hospitals.”

Given that the baby was less than 24 weeks gestation, Crockett  believed, “After talking it through with them I thought that was it, the baby we wanted we would not be able to get.”

But for whatever reason—perhaps the persuasiveness of Crockett and Craig Walkow or perhaps (as the story indicates elsewhere) because they demanded that Connor Walkow be treated–“We were so relieved when John Radcliffe Hospital said they would take us, though they could not promise they would be able to help.”

Connor Walkow tipped the scales at just 1lb 2oz when he was delivered October 3, 2013. This began an arduous seven-month stint in the hospital where he was treated for a series of major medical problems.

Eventually he came home to celebrate his first birthday with family.

 “His birthday crept up very quickly and we had such a busy weekend, there were so many presents and people,” said Crockett. “We’re waiting to see what his development is like but at the moment he is just like an eight-month-old baby. He is not mobile yet but he rolls and loves his toys.”

Her experience has prompted Crockett to call on the government and the National Health Service to reexamine procedures surrounding the births of premature babies. She told LBO

“I think the cutoff point and abortion limit should be lowered, considering what happened with Connor. With him they said that as my waters had broken and he didn’t come out then he shouldn’t have had a heartbeat, but he did.

“We had an agreement that they would help if he showed signs of life, I wouldn’t have wanted them to try for too long if there was no heartbeat.

“Without the transfer to John Radcliffe, Connor would not be here right now, at that age I believe they should be helped.”