BRISTOL, UK, November 27, 2013 ( – A British couple who refused to follow medical advice that they should abort their child after he was diagnosed with severe brain damage has revealed that doctors made a mistake, and their daughter, now two, was born perfectly healthy.

Doctors at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol reportedly told Liane and Iain Stooke that their baby Miley was probably deformed after a scan showed a shadow on their unborn daughter's brain.

A repeat of the scan, showing the same shadow, led doctors to a diagnosis of holoprosencephaly, a condition in which the front part of the brain of a child in the womb fails to form two hemispheres.

“We were told Miley was probably severely brain damaged and wouldn't be able to communicate with or recognize us,” the Stookes told the Daily Mail.  


“The doctors said she might never walk, talk, or recognize our faces,” the couple, who have two sons aged 4 and 9, explained. “It was also possible she'd be physically and facially deformed. There were a lot of unknowns.” 

Mrs Stooke said the physicians at Frenchay Hospital recommended an abortion, telling the parents that Miley would have no “meaningful quality of life.”

“The doctor said it wasn't too late if we wanted to abort the baby – he made it sound almost as if there was no other option,” said Mrs Stooke. 

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The couple agonized over the abortion decision, but in the end Mrs Stooke said her mothering instinct led them to decide to give their little girl a chance at life.

Miley was born by Caesarean section in October 2011 with no sign of any health problems. 

“The midwives were baffled. The doctors ran the standard tests and Miley passed them all with flying colours,” Mrs Stooke said. “Two days later Miley had another MRI scan and we were told she didn't have holoprosencephaly at all. In fact, she was completely healthy. 

“The only explanation is that the original imaging and diagnosis had been completely wrong.” 

The Stookes said they were initially relieved after the birth, but then began to feel angry when they thought about how close they had come to aborting their daughter. 

They subsequently lodged a complaint with the local NHS trust demanding an explanation for the mistakes that had been made. 

A statement from the medical director of North Bristol NHS Trust, Dr Chris Burton, said, “North Bristol NHS Trust investigated Mr and Mrs Stooke's concerns thoroughly and provided a full response in February 2012, in which we expressed our unreserved sympathy for the distress they suffered.” 

Mrs Stooke concluded that she is very pleased that her motherly instinct proved doctors wrong. “Miley's just perfect. I'm just so glad I trusted my mother's instinct and gave my girl the chance to live.”