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Readers Join Debate on Medical Ethics

August 26, 1991

I felt compelled to write you about my little miracle.

After two miscarriages it seemed inconceivable that I would lose a third baby. God wouldn't do that to me. Chloe was born with listeria, which she contracted from me while in the womb. The bacteria settled in her lungs and she was unable to breathe. Her doctor told me she only had a 5% chance of living and that was only if she could be placed on "ECMO" at Childrens Hospital.

I feared I would never see Chloe alive. It was a tough battle due to complications, but 11 days later she was weaned off ECMO and a month and a half later she was home where she belonged.

Obviously for me and my husband prolonging life was the right choice . . . the only choice. We felt Chloe deserved even the slightest chance at life. I know she experienced extreme pain. I held her while she cried for hours when she went through withdrawals from the morphine and from all the times she was poked with needles. That is all gone now and she is a normal beautiful healthy baby. She is off oxygen and all her medications.

As I hold her and she smiles at me with those big blue eyes it's almost impossible to believe that Chloe was ever that sick . . . even more impossible to believe is the thought that Chloe would have been denied the chance to live.

CLAUDIA CONTRERAS, West Covina

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