Mother chose to go blind for baby

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The Independent Online
A PREGNANT woman who turned down treatment for an eye condition that could have harmed her unborn child said last night that she had no regrets that she went blind.

Julie Murphy, 38, has never seen Hayley, four, but has just won a place on a degree course and hopes to become a psychotherapist so she can help others with their problems.

She and her husband Paul, 37, an electrical engineer, were both married before and had seven teenage children between them.

Mrs Murphy, of Crofton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, didn't think there would be a problem when the couple tried for a child of their own. But a specialist diagnosed that she was suffering from diabetic retinopathy. Her pregnancy caused blood vessels in her eyes to burst.

Laser treatment was carried out but she needed more. "The doctors said if I didn't have the treatment I would lose my sight," she said. "I was told if I did have the treatment it would kill my baby. I could feel her moving inside me. It was the baby or my sight. To me there was not a choice."

Mrs Murphy who can only see a "foggy blur" said she loves Hayley "to bits"."I do not resent her for what happened. She's brilliant."

Mrs Murphy said she was very depressed but it lifted after she got a guide dog and decided to go on an IT skills and sociology course at Bretton Hall College, near Wakefield.

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