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Mum had to fight to give birth to son after tests showed he had Down's Syndrome

Mum had to fight to give birth to son after tests showed he had Down's Syndrome

People are flocking to social media in support of a mum who had to fight to give birth to her son after finding out he had Down's syndrome.

People are flocking to social media in support of a mum who had to fight to give birth to her son after finding out he had Down's syndrome.

Yesterday (Tuesday, 21 March) on World Down Syndrome Day, owner of Park Lane Stables - a Riding for the Disabled Centre - in Teddington, Natalie O'Rourke joined Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the sofa of ITV's This Morning.

Natalie opened up about when she fell pregnant with her son Woody and was told he had Down's syndrome and how she had to 'fight' to not have him terminated.

When Natalie went in for her first dating scan after unexpectedly falling pregnant, she notes it was 'very quickly' ascertained 'something was [...] wrong'.

She explains: "[The nurse] just said, 'I'm going to leave the room and go and get my colleague'. But didn't tell me anything.

"I just knew [...] that there was a problem."

At her first dating scan, Natalie 'quickly' realised something was 'wrong'.
ITV/ Twitter/ @thismorning

Natalie was told by the nurse's colleague they believed there was 'something wrong' with the baby and was urgently referred to Queen Charlotte's hospital in London.

What the doctor's told her, 'sickened' her. Natalie recalls: "They called me to tell me the baby had Down's syndrome and I really wasn't surprised at that point, and then the phone rang again, it was an unknown number and they said, 'We are just confirming your appointment for tomorrow'.

"I said, 'I don't have an appointment for tomorrow, I think you have the wrong person', and I realised they had booked me in for a termination the following day."

Natalia told the hospital she wouldn't be coming and to 'cancel that appointment' but claims she was told: "We will keep the appointment just in case you change your mind."

Natalie says she was booked in to have Woody aborted despite her not consenting to such an appointment.
ITV/ Twitter/ @thismorning

The mum notes how grateful she is she was already a mum - Woody has an older sister - as believes had Woody been her first child, she 'might of though that [she had] to go along' with the termination and 'not have realised that there was a choice'.

Natalie explains: "It was like, in their eyes, he [Woody] was going to be a drain on a society and that his life would have no value.

"But actually Woody's a life enhancer. He enhances anybody's life that he meets, if you could measure joy, it would be off the scale.

"I remember holding him in my arms for the first time and he was crying and I was so happy he was healthy and I thought, 'I fought for you and now you're here'."

Natalie describes her son as a 'life enhancer'.
ITV/ Twitter/ @thismorning

Viewers of This Morning have flocked to social media in outrage on behalf of Natalie and Woody.

One user wrote: "Absolutely agree! Down Syndrome is a beautiful part of diversity and should be celebrated, not feared. Thank you for raising awareness, Natalie and Woody!"

"Think it's sick that in this day and age that doctors still advise women to abort healthy babies with downs syndrome," another added.

A third commented: "Yes! Thank you for promoting awareness and acceptance of Down Syndrome. Every individual is unique and deserves to be celebrated."

Social media users were quick to rally around Natalie and Woody in support.
Twitter/ @thismorning

Natalie resolves her experience at the hospitals was 'very confusing and frightening'.

The mum says: |It was like we were put on a pathway without a choice really. This happened 10 years ago so I really, really hope it's different now.

"But what I want to say to anybody that is having a baby with Down Syndrome or gets. diagnosis or isn't even pregnant yet, but when they do get pregnant, it's okay."

A spokesperson for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, told Tyla: "We're so sorry to hear about Natalie’s experience ten years ago. In such cases, a specialist doctor or midwife should always support patients to make their own decisions.

"We would encourage Natalie to contact us so we can follow-up and reflect on what happened."

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Health, This Morning, ITV, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Parenting