'Our wee fighter'

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

'Our wee fighter' thumbnailANALEE Gibney, who is from Newtownhamilton, holds her five-week old daughter, May Rose.

FIVE weeks after being told her baby would not survive childbirth, an Armagh mother says her precious child is fighting every day to cling to life.

Little May Rose Gibney was diagnosed before her birth with a very rare condition called encephalocele  - a form of Spina Bifida which affects the brain.

Her mum, Analee Gibney describes the day her daughter was diagnosed as the worst of her life and has said each day since has brought its many trials for her and her family.

Analee, originally from Newtownhamilton but living on the Moy Road in Armagh with her parents and brothers, is now ready to taker her child to America for an expert second opinion.

"May Rose was diagnosed when I was 20 weeks pregnant," said Analee.

"She had to have a fetal MRI scan and then fetal heart scans. Doctors told me that my baby would not survive childbirth.

"On March 9 I gave birth at 38 weeks and five days. It was such a tough day. When May Rose survived we were then told that she would not live for more than a few hours but here we are five weeks later.

"She is such a wee fighter, every day she fights for her life."

Doctors allowed May Rose to go home and have now withdrawn all treatment. Analee was advised to treat her as a normal baby and let her pass away peacefully at home.

"We are just living day by day, we simply don't know what we are waking up to each day.

"But May Rose is such a fighter and there is no way I am going to give up on her yet."

Analee is determined to raise the necessary funds to bring May Rose to Boston which is considered a centre of excellence for the rare condition.

"I don't want to think in the future that I didn't do all I could have for my baby," she said.

"I am not ready to give up fighting for her yet."

Analee is also determined to raise awareness about the condition.

"So few people know anything about encephalocele, even the doctors admitted they had rarely come across the condition.

"I am trying to lead a normal life with May Rose, we put her in her pram and go to the shops but often people ask questions about her.

"This is simply because they don't know about the condition. I am happy to talk to them and try and educate them a little about it.

"I feel it is important for me to speak out so maybe more information can be made available to other parents going through this in the future. If it helps someone else then it will have been worthwhile speaking out."

If anyone wants to contribute to Analee's efforts to bring May Rose to Boston they can make a donation via


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