Baby who wasn’t expected to live more than ‘matter of minutes’ reaches first birthday


A baby who was not expected to survive more than “a matter of minutes” has defied the odds to celebrate her first birthday with her family.
Samantha Perryman was told her daughter Leona-Grace had an incredibly rare form of spina bifida, while she was still in the womb.
Her spine and spinal cord didn’t develop properly, causing a gap, called rachischisis.
It left the mum-of-three and partner Stephen Graham, 52, with the agonising decision of whether or not to continue with the pregnancy, Chronicle Live reports.
Samantha, 29, researched the condition and found there was only one survivor of the lethal condition – a young boy who lives in Asia.
Despite this, the couple from Craghead, near Stanley in County Durham, chose to fight for their baby and give her the best possible chance of survival.
One year on and Leona-Grace has celebrated her first birthday at home – a moment no-one thought would be possible.
Now Samantha has opened up on the joy of spending time she never expected to have with her daughter, while living with the heartbreaking knowledge that she could lose her at any moment.


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