Deb Larcombe has always wanted a big family. So, when she learned that she was pregnant with twins back in 2007, she knew her dream was coming true. The pregnancy was going well, until her unborn son, Jeremy, was diagnosed with trisomy 18, which is best known as Edwards’ syndrome.
The condition affected Jeremy’s tiny heart and brain. He was dying in the womb, and it was devastating for his parents. Plus, since he was position above his sister Taylah, doctors had given up hope of her making it either.
“Once I reached the 20 week mark in my pregnancy the thought of losing Jeremy before birth became a lot more frightening,” Deb said to The Metro. “We knew he was positioned above Taylah in my womb and that if he miscarried now there was a very high chance of him causing Taylah to miscarry with him.”
The possibility was terrible for Deb and her partner. But she continued to persevere…
“It was then I became very scared and I really wanted him to live and ensure he could help his sister be born safely,” she said.
The Trisomy 18 Foundation says that Edwards’ Syndrome is “[A] condition which is caused by a error in cell division, known as meiotic disjunction. When this happens, instead of the normal pair, an extra chromosome 18 results (a triple) in the developing baby and disrupts the normal pattern of development in significant ways that can be life-threatening, even before birth.”
Against the odds, Jeremy held on long enough to allow his sister a chance at life. She survived the pregnancy, but when Jeremy came out he was just 2 pounds 7 ounces. Taylah was a much healthier 5 pounds 10 ounces.
“I was so thankful I got to meet [Jeremy] and spend that one hour and 20 minutes with him. His father and I took turns cradling him…I believe he may have held on for Taylah— he protected her.”
Doctors thought it was a miracle that Deb walked out of the hospital with Taylah alive and well.
“Doctors were very worried about me. Afterwards, once Taylah was born healthy, doctors admitted they didn’t think I would leave the hospital with a baby. It’s a miracle I left with her and I believe Jeremy played a part in that.”
Because of the delivery room chaos, Deb and her now-husband Wayne never got a picture of Taylah and Jeremy together.
That changed when Deb asked her 21-year-old daughter Shanelle to snap a picture of her and Wayne’s wedding.
“We were at my parents’ house and Wayne and I were getting married that week but it was a surprise, no one else knew.”
Shanelle snapped a photo of her mother’s other children. And immediately the miracle was evident! Jeremy’s “presence” had come home for the picture!
“After seeing the picture of the glowing face next to Taylah, people have kept telling me that Jeremy wanted to be in the picture. It’s very special to me…All the pictures from that day seem to have something in them. It is like there is a light moving around Taylah, and I think it could be Jeremy.”
The moment has changed Deb. Now she knows that Jeremy is still watching over his sister.