Post link 10 October 2015, 14:10
Mum's 11-week premature child still alive thanks to anti-impotence drug


Laura and Dave Liggins, of Bolton, Greater Manchester, were stunned when doctors told them their child's life might be saved by Viagra
Laura, Dave, baby Casey and 15 month old son Aaron

Faced with the prospect of losing their unborn baby who was not growing properly, Laura and Dave Liggins prepared for the worst.

But the couple were stunned when doctors told them their child's life might be saved by Viagra .

Experts believe the sex drug can boost blood supply to the unborn child and allow it to stay in the womb longer so it can grow stronger and have more chance of survival when delivered.

And the couple are convinced it meant the difference between life and death for their precious daughter Casey, who was born 11 weeks prematurely at 1.3lbs.

Just nine weeks earlier, the tot was a mere 1lb and doctors warned Laura and Dave she had little chance of making it. Wiggins with baby daughter Casey(3months)

They were offered a place on a medical trial where pregnant women with babies not growing properly were given Viagra and others a placebo.

Delighted Dave, 35, said: "I have no doubt Viagra saved her life."

And 32-year-old Laura added: "If we hadn't gone on that trial Casey wouldn't be here.

"We 100% believe she wouldn't have made it.

"A huge part of that was being put on the clinical trial.
Baby Casey in an incubator

"When they first said Viagra we were, like, what?

"But when they explained it then it made perfect sense.

"Never in a million years did I think I'd be taking it."

Casey is now a beautiful healthy baby after leaving hospital two weeks ago."

The couple's ordeal started when at the 20-week scan they were told the baby was too small.

Doctors reassured scientist Laura things would probably be OK but to go back in a month for checks.

Procurement manager Dave said: "It was the longest and most anxious four weeks of our lives."

Then, at the 24-week scan, they were told the ­devastating news there was a problem with the placenta and Casey was not growing as she should because of poor blood flow through the cord.

Laura and Dave, of Bolton, were referred to St Mary's Placenta Clinic in Manchester – which is supported by the charity Tommy's – and told about the Strider medical trial.

Dave said: "We were devastated.

"We had to ask ourselves if it would be kinder to let Casey slip away naturally rather than subject her to a short and painful life.

"I broke down, I felt hopeless."

Laura added: "We decided if Casey had a chance, while ever she was fighting, then we had to keep fighting for her."
This undated file photo shows Viagra pills made by Pfizer

But there was to be more anguish.

A scan at 27 weeks showed blood was flowing back from the baby's placenta to her body.

Clinic chief Dr Ed Johnstone said: "This often indicates the baby could die if we don’t act.”

Dave added: "The stress was ­unbearable.

"It was torture, but every day in the womb improved Casey's chances on the outside."

Two weeks later doctors spotted Casey's blood had effectively stopped pumping and they had no choice but to deliver.

She was rushed to a neonatal unit.

Seven hours later, Laura and Dave, who have a 16-month-old son Aaron, were allowed to see her.

And mum finally got to cuddle her daughter two days later.

She said: "After all the trauma, all that desperate hope, she was finally there.

"I was so happy."

Casey was allowed home at 12 weeks. Dave said: "Looking at her, it's hard to believe she almost wasn't here.

"We placed our baby's life in the hands of the placenta team and it was not misplaced."

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