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julie.magee@thechronicle.uk.com

A HEARTBROKEN Limavady mother has spoken of the precious minutes she shared with her darling daughter before she passed away peacefully as she held her daddy's finger.

Erin O'Hara, 24, who made the agonising decision to carry her baby, despite knowing that she wouldn't survive, recalled the agony of having to say 'hello' and 'goodbye' to tiny Freya at the same time.

Erin and her partner Jamie McCormick, 23, were devastated when their daughter was diagnosed with the incurable condition Anencephaly after Erin's 20-week scan. The fatal birth defect occurs when the neural tube doesn't form properly between the 21st and 28th day of gestation.

After raising thousands of pounds for the charities which supported them through their terrible ordeal, Freya was born and died at Altnagelvin Hospital on December 7 last year after Erin went into labour at 32 weeks.

Erin recalled: “I was in a lot of pain so I was admitted to as a precautionary measure. I was dehydrated and my heart was pounding almost faster than my baby girl's. The doctor did not want to let me home and I am thankful now that he didn’t.”

During her week in the antenatal ward Erin's pain grew progressively worse and she was diagnosed with polyhydramnios which eventually sent her body into labour.

Erin said: “My organs began to swell due to an infection. It was awful but I would do it again in a heartbeat, if it meant I would get to see Freya again.

“On December 7 at 8.13pm, weighing only 2lb 4oz, baby Freya decided it was her time to come into the world. She was delivered by two very special midwives and lived for two amazing minutes - we will hold that memory in our hearts forever. She was absolutely perfect in every other way.”

* Continued on page 2

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