Woman, 32, is expecting a miracle baby after grueling surgery

Woman, 32, is expecting a miracle baby after being told by doctors to ‘adopt or accept never having kids’ following gruelling surgery

  • Sarah Seddon was told she couldn’t have IVF because of her surgery scars
  • She has Crohn’s disease and has had five major operations on her bowel
  • And Miss Seddon, 32, from Grimsby, says she has contracted sepsis 20 times 
  • But she and fiancé Ian Carrick are now expecting a healthy baby in May
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A pregnant woman is expecting a miracle baby – despite being told by doctors to adopt or accept never having kids after gruelling surgery.

Sarah Seddon, 32, has had surgery five times and developed life-threatening sepsis 20 times while living with Crohn’s disease.

The healthcare assistant, from Little Coates, Grimsby, has been pregnant before, through IVF because she was struggling to conceive naturally. Her son was stillborn in March this year.

But Miss Seddon is now pregnant again, despite doctors warning the fertility treatment wouldn’t work for her because of the scarring caused by her infections and numerous surgeries.

Sarah Seddon, 32, has extensive scarring on her stomach because of numerous surgeries for Crohn’s disease and infections she caught after the operations – as a result, doctors said she wouldn’t be able to have children 

Miss Seddon, who has had Crohn’s disease since she was 11, said: ‘I was diagnosed with Crohn’s back in 1998 after my health started to deteriorate.

‘My mum rushed me to hospital as she knew something wasn’t right and my weight had seriously dropped.

‘I’ve been battling the condition for 18 years and every treatment I’ve tried has not worked.

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‘I have been through some difficult times when it got to a point I thought there was nothing they could do for me.’

She has had five major surgeries since 2004, beginning with a right hemicolectomy to remove part of her colon.

But after her second operation in November 2013 she developed sepsis – a deadly complication of another infection – for the first time.

She described how her mother, Diana, called for an ambulance when she began to shake uncontrollably while her temperature soared and a fever set in.

Miss Seddon was rushed to Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimbsy, where she needed a drain fitted to treat an infection in her surgical wound.  

As her health failed to improve after the second op, Miss Seddon went on to have a further three surgeries to remove parts of damaged bowel.

Miss Seddon and her fiancé, Ian Carrick (pictured together), are now expecting a healthy baby in May next year after their first child, Vinnie, was stillborn in March this year

The new baby (pictured, a scan of Miss Seddon’s current pregnancy) is the result of IVF and a success story of the couple defying the odds after doctors said the fertility treatment wouldn’t work for her 

But within a three-year period between her second and fifth operation, Miss Seddon claims she contracted sepsis a further 20 times.

She would get the complication every time she had an operation and her surgical wounds would get repeatedly infected, leading to sepsis again and again. 

‘The first time I had this overwhelming fear that it was bad,’ said Miss Seddon. ‘But I kept arguing with my mum not to call the ambulance and telling her that I was fine.

‘I think I was just so frightened of knowing what was happening that I was in denial. From then on, every time I had an open wound from surgery I would get sepsis.

‘After my third surgery, I even had to have a central line fitted, which I was fed through for 11 weeks.

‘Because I worked at the hospital they told me a bed was ready whenever I felt the symptoms of sepsis starting.

‘I always knew when it was starting, because I would stop eating and I would start to get a fever.’ 

Due to scarring left from surgery and draining tubes being inserted into her stomach, Miss Seddon was told she would be unable to have the children she always longed for. 

When she asked for IVF after struggling to concieve naturally, she was told scarring around her ovaries and fallopian tubes would make it too difficult for medics to implant the embryo. 

Doctors also said she wouldn’t be able to have a caesarean section because of the scarring on her stomach, and she might get sepsis again while pregnant.

Miss Seddon was heartbroken when he first child, Vinnie, was stillborn earlier this year, but the couple are determined to have another child (pictured: Vinnie’s bedroom)

Doctors said scarring from her surgeries would make a natural birth too risky and she wouldn’t be able to have a caesarean section

Miss Seddon said she and Mr Carrick are ‘so happy but also a little scared of any other complications’ (pictured holding a babygrow for their newborn with the message ‘handpicked for earth by brother Vinnie in Heaven’)

And she and her fiance Ian Carrick, a 36-year-old car parts salesman, faced extra heartbreak when her son Vinnie was stillborn at 31 weeks in March. 

Miss Seddon said: ‘They said it would be difficult even for me to have IVF because it would be so hard for them to get to my tubes due to the scarring, and it could be dangerous for me to carry a baby due to the sepsis.

‘The doctor told me “your options are accept or adopt” – it was that blunt.

‘But we knew my womb was healthy, even if the area around it wasn’t, so we were determined to get a second opinion.’  

And the specialist giving a second opinion said it would be safe for Miss Seddon to have IVF – and now she is expecting a healthy baby in May next year.

‘I’ve tried to stay as positive as possible and be as normal as I can,’ she said. ‘With Vinnie, we were so heartbroken to lose a baby so far along, so close to full term.

‘We were told it was not down to my past health problems, it was just something that can happen to anyone.

‘But we knew if we didn’t give it everything we had now and keep trying with IVF, then we would never get the chance again.

‘I’ve done everything doctors said I wouldn’t be able to do.’  

The couple even have a babygrow ready for their newborn with the message ‘handpicked for earth by brother Vinnie in Heaven’.

Miss Seddon, who received an inspirational mother award in October this year, said: ‘Receiving the special recognition award was just so overwhelming.

‘Right now we are so happy but also a little scared of any other complications. We just want to meet our little one.’ 


Sepsis occurs when the body reacts to an infection by attacking its own organs and tissues.

Some 44,000 people die from sepsis every year in the UK. Worldwide, someone dies from the condition every 3.5 seconds. 

Sepsis has similar symptoms to flu, gastroenteritis and a chest infection.

These include:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine in a day
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you are dying
  • Skin mottled or discoloured

Symptoms in children are:

  • Fast breathing
  • Fits or convulsions
  • Mottled, bluish or pale skin
  • Rashes that do not fade when pressed
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling abnormally cold

Under fives may be vomiting repeatedly, not feeding or not urinating for 12 hours. 

Anyone can develop sepsis but it is most common in people who have recently had surgery, have a urinary catheter or have stayed in hospital for a long time.

Other at-risk people include those with weak immune systems, chemotherapy patients, pregnant women, the elderly and the very young.

Treatment varies depending on the site of the infection but involves antibiotics, IV fluids and oxygen, if necessary.

Source: UK Sepsis Trust and NHS Choices

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