Doctors said that this baby, with part of her brain outside her skull, would not be able to breathe on her own after birth and even if she survived she would suffer from disabilities. But destiny had something else in store for Faith Martin.
When Martin was born she had no problem of breathing. And she also cried like other normal kids after her birth. Her only problem was the pouch that she had at the back of the head.
She was diagnosed with encephalocele when her mother Jessica Williams, 20, was 17-week pregnant. In encephalocele, which affects around one of 5,000 births in the UK, the neural tube comprising the brain and spinal cord does not close completely during pregnancy. As a result, a pouch appears outside the skull.
Williams said, "The consultant said that he thought that she was going to be severely disabled. All along we were told it was the part of the brain that controlled breathing that was affected. We were told that most babies that they knew of had died from it."
She said the doctors left the decision about termination on them and they decided to go ahead with the pregnancy.
Martin, now three months old, got rid of the pouch after a surgery on January 10 at Newcastle. Doctors also said she will not be afflicted with any long-term problems.
Doctors decided in favour of the surgery because the protrusion grew and by December it was 21cm in diameter from 6 cm at birth. Williams said the protrusion hurt when touched and it was getting difficult to manage her. The surgeons removed the sac containing excess brain fluid and dead brain matter and introduced a shunt to redirect any fluid build-up to her stomach.
MRI scans every six months and checks-ups are a must for Faith. Her mother said, "It proves that doctors can be wrong as this outcome just wasn't an option for her. She's quite a determined little thing. She's our little miracle."