A MUM is taking legal action after claiming doctors at Sunderland Royal Hospital wrongly advised her to abort her “brain dead” unborn baby.
During her 24-week pregnancy scan, Sarah Hagan says medics told her the child would have “no hope of survival”.
The Sunderland mum went through the agony of taking tablets to abort her unborn son, only to be then told doctors were going to try and deliver her baby.
Sarah, 38, of Farringdon, said: “It breaks my heart every day when I look at my son and think how I almost got rid of him.”
Now, the mum of two, along with partner Darren Perry, 25, has begun legal proceedings against City Hospitals Sunderland, after claiming she was told:
l Her baby’s brain had not formed properly.
l Her only option was a termination.
l Her child could be born with one eye.
As a result of being born so early, Sarah says Aaron, now 15 months old, has suffered a catalogue of health problems including chronic lung issues and a cyst on the brain.
She said: “If I’d been allowed to go longer into the pregnancy, I’m sure he wouldn’t have had any of these problems.
“Now, despite being told he was brain dead, Aaron’s brain is on par with any other baby of his age.
“Despite what they said, he was born breathing and kicking.
“When I look at him now, I can’t believe what almost happened because someone made a presumption from a scan.
“I just want other mothers to know my story so that nothing like this happens again.”
Sarah went for her 24-week scan on May 4 last year.
Supported by her mum, Val, 66, medics took her into a consulting room where Sarah says she was told her baby’s brain had not formed.
“I just broke down in tears,” she recalled. “My mum asked if the baby would survive, and we were told there was no hope of survival.
“They said I could take tablets or be sent through to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where they could perform a fetal heart stop.”
Left overnight to consider her options, Sarah slept little and finally decided to take the tablets.
“I took them believing that a termination was the only way. They even told me they would have to carry a post-mortem to find out what had gone wrong.
“By Wednesday, May 9, I was back at the hospital because the tablets didn’t seem to be working. I was seen by another medic who asked if I’d spoken to a neo-natal doctor.
“I said ‘no’ and he seemed flabbergasted. So they sent for one who then examined me and said he was going to deliver my baby.”
Aaron Hagan Perry was born on Thursday, May 10, weighing just 1lb 7oz.
He was immediately put on a ventilator and also suffered an almost fatal infection and heart condition.
However, after almost two months in the neo-natal unit, he started to show signs of recovery.
Sarah, also mum to six-month-old Harry, said: “I still find it hard to believe they could get it so wrong, that it was just presumed my baby would not survive.
“When I look at him now and think what could have happened, it brings me to tears.”
A spokeswoman for Sunderland Royal Hospital said: “The Trust can confirm that it is aware of the legal action being taken by Ms Hagan and her partner and it would be clearly inappropriate to offer any detail or comment on the case at this present time.
“The Trust recognises that this is a distressing time for both Ms Hagan and her partner.”