“Inspirational”: The doctors supporting families expecting a child with spina bifida

By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

During the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors in Canada have been working to provide continuous support and reassurance to parents expecting a child with spina bifida. Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “The work of these doctors is truly inspirational. It is always heartening to hear of doctors who value and recognise the importance of each human life.”

Non-essential surgeries in Canada were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This left parents across the country having to delay the in-utero surgery that would help to repair their unborn child’s spina bifida and provide them with an improved quality of life.

One couple, Amanda and Devon, who had to postpone their unborn child’s treatment, spoke of the anxiety this situation had caused, and how the work of diligent and dedicated doctors helped to re-assure and support them.

Medical teams launched the first ever virtual health appointments for the expecting couples. This ensured that parents were able to be introduced to the nurses and neurosurgeons and were informed of the details regarding the in-utero surgery for whenever it could commence.

As a result of these virtual medical appointments, the couple were able to start the in-utero surgery at the first available opportunity and their baby boy will now be born at the end of July.

Dad, Devon said: “It’s one less procedure he’s going to have to go through and I’m super thankful to the doctors and physicians who were able to accept Amanda and get it done for her. A huge weight was lifted off our shoulders.”

Saving life though in utero surgery

Currently, in utero surgery can treat a number of foetal conditions including spina bifida, foetal tumours and cerebral palsy.

In May 2019, as reported by SPUC, doctors performed key-hole surgery on an unborn baby with spina bifida. Unborn baby, Jaxon, had the operation at just 27 weeks gestation, and as a result was able to move his legs when he was born six weeks later.

 “The early interventions that can now be used to treat and save unborn children are truly astonishing,” SPUC’s Mr Robinson continued. 

“The stories of these children saved though in utero surgery prove that science is on the side of the pro-life movement. Indeed, scientific developments and new technology are now instilling a sense of awe that society never really had before, about the beauty and dignity of every unborn child.

“The use of in utero surgery, highlights the fact that unborn children are human and worth saving and protecting.”