Belfast Telegraph

I'll fight on for my baby, vows mum as Northern Ireland medics rule out risky surgery

By Claire O'Boyle

The mother of a desperately ill baby has vowed to battle on to keep her alive - despite doctors ruling out surgery she believes could save the tot's life.

May Rose Gibney was born last month and, while experts warned she was unlikely to live for more than a matter of days, the tiny fighter is battling on more than five weeks later.

The youngster suffers from the rare brain condition Encephalocele, which means her neural tube - a structure that goes on to form the brain and spinal cord - did not close completely during pregnancy.

And while the birth defect can only be treated by surgery, consultants with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust have ruled out operating on May Rose because of the high risks linked to her case.

But mum Analee Gibney, from Moy, Co Armagh, and her family are refusing to give up hope, and after a successful recent fundraiser, they plan to use the money to pay for private consultations with neurosurgery specialists in England to find out if anything more can be done.

Thanking friends and family for their support throughout her pregnancy and in the first weeks of May Rose's life, fashion worker Analee (24), said: "I wouldn't have been able to get through my pregnancy without the support of my family and friends, and prayers from people across the world.

"I was overwhelmed by the messages I was receiving from people, some I didn't even know, on social media.

"We also need to raise awareness of Encephalocele. I know it's a very rare condition but when May Rose was first diagnosed I was quite disheartened by the lack of information and statistics available.

"I can't thank the staff in the Belfast Health and Social Trust enough for what they have done for us, but I am adamant that more can be done and I will continue to fight for my daughter.

"The funds that have been raised so far will go towards getting second opinions and third opinions, if that's what it's going to take. I can't imagine my life without my daughter, I really am blessed to be her mother."

A spokesperson said the Belfast Trust was unable to discuss any patient's treatment or care, but added: "However, our clinicians are aware of May Rose's case and will continue to provide the best possible care and advice to her family."

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