Baby's death leads to breakthrough test
LITTLE Adam Plampin's proud family had even more to celebrate than most when the bouncing baby boy arrived five months ago. For the youngster's safe delivery and clean bill of health marked the end of 10 years of heartache for his brave parents David and Lynn, while also paying the ultimate tribute to his late sister Lily.
LITTLE Adam Plampin's proud family had even more to celebrate than most when the bouncing baby boy arrived five months ago.
For the youngster's safe delivery and clean bill of health marked the end of 10 years of heartache for his brave parents David and Lynn, while also paying the ultimate tribute to his late sister Lily.
Adam became a world-first when he was tested for the rare genetic condition which caused his mother to lose five other pregnancies - a process only made possible because of ground-breaking research carried out following Lily's death at 19-weeks-old in 1996.
And now his parents, who live in Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, are keen to tell his story to raise awareness of the vital Jeans for Genes charity, which funded the study and made the testing possible.
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“Research has been taking place since Lily died nine years ago, and we were told last September that they had found the gene responsible for the problems,” said Mrs Plampin, 39, who, together with her husband, carries the rare gene causing mitotic non-disjunction.
“At that point we didn't think we would have any more children, so it was a bit of a shock to find out I was expecting Adam three weeks later.
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“It was an absolutely tremendous relief to have the test carried out on Adam as we have lost a lot of pregnancies before at various stages.
“I had become so disillusioned because of the times we had prayed and it had all gone wrong. We thought everything was against us.
“But the new tests could be carried out earlier on in the pregnancy, and meant that something good came from Lily's death and from the pain we had gone through.
“We were very excited when they found the gene in September, but you still think of the outcome for a child with that condition, which is dreadful as the child is not going to live and the chances of a successful pregnancy are pretty horrendous.”
The research carried out in the light of Lily's death meant Adam could be tested much earlier in his mother's pregnancy than would previously been possible.
Now he is the apple of his older sisters' eyes as Victoria, 11, and six-year-old Polly both dote on their younger baby brother.
“This is so incredibly rare, and happens only in a handful of cases, but it makes our other three children even more precious,” added Mrs Plampin.
“The prognosis of life with this condition is not good. Lily died at 19 weeks and had done exceptionally well to get that far.
“But when she was alive we spent a lot of time in hospitals and saw some very sick children, so we realise we are incredibly lucky to have three healthy children.
“As a result, we have been interested in raising money and awareness for Jeans for Genes, and it is a worthwhile cause as the research is very much needed. It can make a real difference and have an affect on people's lives.”
At Adam's christening in October, the family raised £545 for the charity after asking for donations instead of presents, marking a five-year involvement with Jeans for Genes.
“They are not a huge charity, but their work can make such a difference,” said Mr Plampin, 40. “We are absolutely over the moon now Adam is here, as this has been a long journey taking nearly ten years.”
n For more information about genetic disorders or to donate, visit www.jeansforgenes.com or telephone 0800 980 4800.