Friday, 1 February 2008

A mother's witness

A few weeks ago this story came out about a young mother in Norfolk who gave her life for her newborn baby. Lorraine Allard, who discovered that she was in the advanced stages of cancer, refused to terminate her pregnancy at 23 weeks in order to undergo chemotherapy. Instead she waited for her baby's premature arrival at 26 weeks, saying, "If I am going to die, my baby is going to live." Her husband, already the father of three daughters, held by his wife's decision. "I can't begin to describe how brave she was. Towards the end we knew things weren't going well but she was overjoyed that she had given life to Liam." Liam was born on November 18, weighing less than 2 lbs., and his mother was put on a chemotherapy course straight away. Nevertheless she died two months later, having managed to visit her baby at the hospital four times.

It is incredible to hear of people like Lorraine and Martyn who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to give their children a chance to live. May their witness reawaken us to the gift of new life, and give us the courage to make sacrifices on its behalf. May it help break down the idea in our culture that children take away a person's freedom. On the contrary, many abortions are undergone because of pressures put upon women by the fathers, her parents or through her own low self esteem, whereas Lorraine was obviously at peace making the choice she did. May she rest in peace.


Tony said...

What an amazing lady. I'm sure she is now in the good company of St Gianna Beretta Molla, who no doubt will have welcomed her with open arms.

marcella said...

What a moving story and what a wonderful woman. Thanks be to God for her. I have no doubt whatever that she rests in peace. Her baby Liam will grow up in the knowledge that his mother sacrificed her life for him. Isn't it a beautiful legacy to leave him - the certainty that one has been loved that much?

Anonymous said...

I respect the mother's decision very much especially as she understood the consequences. However no woman should be forced to make the same choice she did. The decision must always be made freely and had Mrs. Allard made the decision to terminate her pregnancy to be a mother to her other, now motherless, three children, that is a decision I would also respect, and hope everyone will. What is more there was no guarantee that the child, Liam, would survive, but happily he seems to have done so at least Mrs. Allard's sacrifice was not in vain.