A MOTHER has spoken of her heart-breaking loss and feeling "rushed" into aborting her baby.

Lisa Wright was 19 weeks pregnant when she got the tragic news that her baby had a terminal condition and she needed to have an abortion.

Routine blood tests at 14 weeks used to detect Down’s Syndrome revealed that there was an increased risk. Lisa went for further tests.

The sonographer did not reveal anything but the baby’s head shape was triangular on the scan. Following this she received a phone call to tell her that the baby had Trisomy 18.

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Trisomy 13, known as Patau's Syndrome, and Trisomy 18, known as Edwards' Syndrome, are genetic disorders that affect each child differently. Survival rates are low and whilst some children do survive longer, many babies do not live beyond their first birthday.

Lisa had baby Chloe terminated during her 19th week of pregnancy.

The 51-year-old said that when she saw the consultant she felt that "there was not really an option of continuing with the pregnancy".

“He was anxious to book me in for a termination. It was all very rushed and, looking back now, I really should have had more time to digest that information," she said.

“Although for us as a couple we did come to that conclusion, as we were told that the condition wasn’t compatible with life.

"Our baby probably wouldn’t survive the pregnancy, let alone be born alive. We were given no real hope at all."

Lisa, from Burgess Hill, who had a two-year-old son at the time, was unable to find out more about Edwards’ Syndrome and was pushed to terminate the pregnancy.

And now, 23-years after the death of her daughter, Lisa has joined charity Soft UK, which provides information and support to families affected by Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18.

Lisa said: “I now work for Soft as a support person. I see this role as a positive to come from something that was difficult.

"It’s lovely being able to help somebody and say, ‘I know what you’re going through’. I felt totally alone in the Trisomy 18 situation.”

Ceridwen Hughes, photographer and founder of the Same but Different charity, which uses storytelling techniques to share people's stories, has created a project to raise awareness about the importance of talking about grief after baby loss, whilst celebrating the lives of the babies called You're not Alone.

It has been launched for baby Loss Awareness Week. It is jointly funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, and Illumina, a global leader in DNA sequencing. Loss Awareness Week is set up to help generate more open discussion and aims to offer more support to parents whose children have passed away through life limiting genetic birth disorders such as Trisomy 13 or 18.

Ceridwen said: “Baby loss sometimes feels like a whispered secret.

“No-one knows what to say to a grieving parent and often people are too afraid to even say the child’s name for fear of causing more upset and yet the parents I have spoken to yearn to remember and celebrate the lives of their child, no matter how short their life.

“The short film and exhibition have been created to encourage dialogue and to remind people that no matter how lonely their journey there are people who understand.”

11 families took part in the exhibition and some parents feature in a short film.

David Knott, interim chief executive at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “National Lottery funding is there to support everyone, including during times of acute challenge and personal strain.

"We are proud to have funded ‘You’re Not Alone’ – an initiative which shares messages of comfort and support on a topic that is not often talked about.

"We hope that these messages will help to connect bereaved parents to one another through a community that can make all the difference, when coping with grief and loss.”

The exhibition and short film can be seen at – www.samebutdifferentcic.org.uk/yourenotalone

More than £30 million goes to good causes from The National Lottery across the country every week, making projects like these possible. To find out more about how The National Lottery supports good causes throughout the UK, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk

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