For most parents, a pregnancy is a time of joy. However, for some it's a bittersweet experience, when they discover the happiness might be short lived due to a terminal illness.
Every Life Counts is an online platform based in Ireland. It helps these parents deal with their grief, and it also provides hope for those who are currently facing a difficult health prognosis.
Tom and Tracy Harkin are among them.
"We were told our daughter Kathleen Rose had Trisomy 13, a condition which is often defined as incompatible with life. There's no hope. The outlook is very bleak. She's going to have a very poor quality of life. She will die shortly after birth, and many babies don't live to the first year.”
Despite the seemingly devastating odds, Tom and Tracy didn't lose hope and decided to face adversity head on.
"When you´re given a dire prognosis it's very important to be able to say 'OK, that is possibly the worst case scenario that we are looking at there', but there is a spectrum, and you have to look at the potential of the child.”
Their optimism was not in vain. Kathleen Rose recently celebrated her 7th birthday with her parents, brothers and sisters.
"I think these are children, no matter if they live for one hour, for one day, one month. We did not know how Kathleen was going to do. We didn't know, but what we did know was that we wanted to love her and give every single chance at being the best that she could be, and we are so glad we did.”
Although not all stories have a happy ending, cases like Kathleen's are beacons of hope and serve as a reminder of the value of every child's life, no matter how short it might be.