“She only lived for 74 minutes but she has achieved more than some people do in a lifetime.”

Sensitive content: This post deals with loss and death that may be triggering for some readers. 

At 13 weeks pregnant, Emma Lee received devastating news.

The 32-year-old and her husband, Drew, were told one of their twins suffered from anencephaly – a deadly condition that prevented the brain and skull from developing.

Faced with the option of aborting her baby girl, Emma decided to carry her to full term, knowing the baby would die shortly after birth.

Baby Hope and her brother, Josh, was born last week.


Hope lived only 74 minutes before dying in her mother’s arms at a Cambridge hospital.

“I don’t think anyone spoke during the 74 minutes, we just all gave her cuddles,” she told The Mirror.

Hope’s parents donated her kidneys and liver cells to others in need.

Her mum said the decision was “heartbreaking”, but that they were inspired by the story of baby Teddy Houlston, who was born in April with the same condition and whose organs helped others.

“Before I was pregnant I read about Teddy in the paper and my only thought was that his parents were so brave,” Emma said.

“I never expected that I would end up in exactly the same position.

“When we found out Hope wouldn’t survive, knowing Teddy’s story made me confident doctors could do the same thing.

“Today she is still living on inside someone else and it helps with the grief, it’s taken some of the pain away.”

Hope’s father, Drew, added: “She only lived for 74 minutes but she has achieved more than some people do in a lifetime.

“We feel our little girl is a hero.”

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