To life: mother with deadly condition refuses to abort child

And, incredibly, mother and child are both doing well.

Details, from the UK’s Daily Mail:

A brave mother risked her life and ignored doctors’ advice to terminate her baby after rare pregnancy hormones triggered tumours all over her body and led to a collapsed lung.

Donna Hewetson, who also suffered ruptured kidney in her bid to bring first child Lily into the world, defied medics after enduring the agony of a miscarriage.

Mrs Hewetson, 29, from Lichfield, Staffordshire, said: ‘Losing my first baby was absolutely devastating for me and my husband – and I knew with Lily, I was prepared to risk my life for her.

‘I’d always dreamed about becoming a mum, and when I finally got pregnant, there was no way I was giving up on my baby.

‘It was a really frightening time – we both knew that the longer I was pregnant, the more tumours I had growing inside me – but my maternal instinct was too strong to even contemplate a termination.’

Her pregnancy caused her body to produce hormones that led her to suffer two potentially fatal conditions.

Mrs Hewetson was also diagnosed with Tuberous sclerosis, which causes benign tumours to grow on vital organs when she was just 12 weeks’ pregnant.

She was also told she had Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), a lung condition that affects just one in a million women, and causes the breathing organs to collapse.

But despite her own life being at risk, she was so desperate to become a mother that she was willing to risk her life.

Amazingly, the gamble paid off and she is now on the road to recovery. And her daughter is healthy.


  1. Regina Faighes says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, hopeful, and uplifting pro-life testament.

  2. It indeed was a gamble, and it was her gamble to take. She had the freedom to make such a choice.

    All women should have the same freedom to choose; to take the gamble or not. A choice made for them is not a choice at all nor is it freedom.

  3. Donna Hewetson’s choice reminds me of that by Saint Gianna Beretta Molla whose feastday we celebrated on April 28th. Gianna was the last saint canonized by JPII and proclaimed as “Mother of a Family”. Blessed John Paul II lauded the courage of such brave women in his Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life)
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  4. pagansister says:

    IMO, everyone has “a time” when they leave this mortal coil. She chose to take a chance—she won—because it wasn’t her time. May she have a long and happy live with that beautiful baby.

  5. pagansister says:

    correction: “life” with that beautiful baby.

  6. Barbara Peters says:

    She is a strong and brave woman. But I wonder would she have made the same choice if this were not her first child? What if she had other children at home? Could she have made the same choice? What mother would choose to risk dying and leaving her children motherless? I know the Catholic Church teaches the mother must die but I cannot help but wonder how a mother says goodbye to her living children.

  7. Ms. Peters,

    Respectfully, the Catholic Church does not teach that “the mother must die.” The Church teaches that, in those rare circumstances where a decision must be made between saving the life of the mother or saving the life of the child, while no action may be taken that results in the direct death of either, doctors may legitimately direct their efforts to saving the life of one, either the mother or the child, knowing that the unfortunate, undesired and indirect consequence will be the death of the other.

    Also, I can think of any number of scenarios where I or my wife, or any mother or father, would risk our own life in order to save one of our children, even if the result were that our other children would be orphaned. I wouldn’t hesitate, for instance, to run back in to our burning apartment if I knew my sixteen year old needed rescuing, even if it meant our six and fourteen year olds, safely outside, might lose their father.

    Mrs. Hewetson’s actions were remarkably courageous, selfless and loving. That’s all that needs to be said. There’s no reason to wonder what she would have done had circumstances been different, to doubt her convictions or place question marks on her devotion. There is no greater love than to give one’s life that another might live.

  8. @Joe, Saint Gianna is what immediately came to my mind when I read this, also. I chose Saint Gianna as my confirmation saint because I was so amazed by her bravery and love for her child. I want to be a mother some day and I can only hope that I have the same courage to put my child completely before myself.

  9. Wow, thanks for sharing this. She is a hero, as heroic as any Navy SEAL. God bless her and the child.

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