This is an unbelievable story.
Weighing just 2Ib 14oz she lay hooked up to wires and tubes in a neonatal unit on August 29, 1977.
But there was no anxious parent nearby, lovingly holding her minuscule hand, desperately willing her to live.
Because Melissa Ohden’s mother had left the hospital in Iowa, believing the toxic saline solution she’d been given over a five-day period when she was eight months pregnant had aborted her child.
However the procedure had failed but Melissa’s mother had no idea her daughter had survived, against the odds, until 36 years later.
After Melissa learnt about her traumatic start in life, she spent nearly two decades searching for answers and would discover her guilt-ridden birth mother had not wanted to have the termination.
Melissa also learnt that she is alive today because a nurse heard her weak cries, slight movements and gasps for breath as she lay discarded as medical waste and rushed her to intensive care.
And in a macabre twist, it emerged there was another nurse at the hospital who had instructed the others to ‘leave the baby in the room to die’.
Devastatingly, Melissa, who lives in Missouri, US, found out that that woman – one of the supervisors in charge that day – was in fact her own grandmother.
That is so horrific, I don’t even know where to begin. But the story doesn’t end there. Melissa searched for her mother for years, and then finally found her.
“I discovered that my birth mother, aged 19, had been forced into the abortion by her own mother, who was an educational nurse at the hospital,” she said. Apparently her mother was heavily sedated during the abortion and had no way of knowing her daughter had survived the abortion until thirty years later.
Melissa was adopted by a loving family. Though she knew she was adopted, she didn’t know the circumstances of her birth. Once, she and her sister were having an argument when her sister blurted out, “At least my parents wanted me!” When Melissa’s adopted parents told her the truth, it sent her down a dark path of sex and drugs.
Melissa pulled herself together and headed off to the University of South Dakota to study political science.
She would later learn that her biological mother had attended there as well.
And astonishingly, her maternal grandmother – the very woman who orchestrated the abortion – was a professor at the university during the time Melissa was there.
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