A couple are facing the heartbreak of knowing their unborn baby may only have a few hours to live after he or she is born.
Daniel Thompson and Georgie Wills from Newton-le-Willows discovered their third child was suffering from a rare condition at the 12-week scan in January.
The baby has Exencephaly a disorder that means the brain forms outside the skull.
But although the condition is incurable and babies can die within few hours, the couple have made the decision to go forward with the pregnancy hoping to enjoy what little time they may have.
Daniel, 30, a maintenance worker at the YMCA in St Helens, described the moment they were told about their baby’s condition.
He said: ‘We were shocked. When you go in for a scan you expect everything to be okay.
‘We knew something was wrong when the doctors were being very hesitant.
‘They took us into a private room after the scan to tell us and we couldn’t speak.
‘All we could do was think about what happens next. It was hard to walk past the other couples, knowing what we’d just found out.’
Daniel and Georgie, 27, have been together for five years and have a three-year-old son and a daughter who is just eight months old.
The dad, who also has two other children from a previous relationship, said their children are helping them to stay strong.
He said: ‘For the next few days we were constantly crying and just feeling distraught but we saw how it was affecting our them so we decided that tomorrow is a new day and if we were going to carry on with this we had to be strong for our kids.
‘In a way they’ve helped. They’re always there for us to love. We have them there if we need a cuddle and it’s a real comfort.’
Daniel added they decided immediately to carry on with the pregnancy and said: ‘We spoke in some depth about the condition and reached out to others who had been affected.
‘We thought about the impact the baby would have on us as a family and we made the decision to continue and allow nature to take its own course.
‘Of course like any pregnancy there are risks, but Georgie is happy to give the baby every possible chance to fight and let go when he or she decides to die.
‘Of course it’s not easy however but the decision we have taken is the best for us, our extended families have supported us throughout the decision.’
The couple are now hoping to raise enough funds for a ‘cuddle cot’ before the baby is born.
The ‘cot’ has a specialised cooling system that means bereaved parents can spend longer with their baby including being able to take him or her home.
Afterwards, they intend to donate it to the hospital for use by another family who have lost a baby.