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What is Anencephaly?

22 May

Thought I’d digress from my usual post of food, travels and stuff. I was touched by the story of the Walker family which is all around Facebook right now (Facebook initially deleted Baby Grayson James’ photo and banned Heather’s account for 24 hours. They later apologized to the family). Heather gave birth to Baby Grayson James. Baby Grayson James suffered from Anencephaly.What is Anencephaly?

Anencephaly is a defect in the closure of the neural tube during fetal development. The neural tube is a narrow channel that folds and closes between the 3rd and 4th weeks of pregnancy to form the brain and spinal cord of the embryo. Anencephaly occurs when the “cephalic” or head end of the neural tube fails to close, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp. Infants with this disorder are born without a forebrain (the front part of the brain) and a cerebrum (the thinking and coordinating part of the brain). The remaining brain tissue is often exposed–not covered by bone or skin. A baby born with anencephaly is usually blind, deaf, unconscious, and unable to feel pain. Although some individuals with anencephaly may be born with a rudimentary brain stem, the lack of a functioning cerebrum permanently rules out the possibility of ever gaining consciousness. Reflex actions such as breathing and responses to sound or touch may occur.

Despite knowing that Baby Grayson suffered from Anencephaly early on in her pregnancy, she and her husband decided to push through with the pregnancy. Despite knowing that Baby Grayson would just live a short time, she still decided to bring him to life. The courage to push through and the faith in God are just some values I truly admire in the story of this family.

Check out her blog and her and her family’s journey during the pregnancy and after.

 

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