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A woman who was told her baby had died in the womb in a devastating medical blunder has celebrated her son's first birthday. Michael was declared dead during a scan carried out when his mother Melissa Redmond was just eight weeks pregnant. The mother from Donabate near Dublin was issued with labour-inducing medication but her mother's instinct drove her to seek a second opinion.
Her case sparked a huge review of maternity services in Ireland where it was found the same thing had happened to 23 women over the last five years.
When she went for the eight-week scan at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda she was distraught to be told she had miscarried again.
She and her IT specialist husband Michael, 44, took the painful decision to have a D&C procedure - also known as a dilation and curettage - to have their 'dead' child removed.
The operation was scheduled for two days later on July 24 and Melissa was also given the abortive drug, Cytotec, to take on the morning of the operation.
However, Melissa's mothering instinct kicked in and she decided to visit her local GP to seek a second opinion.
To both Melissa and Michael's disbelief, the GP's surgery filled instantly with the sound of their unborn son's heart, beating strongly.
Relief soon turned to anger as Melissa realised that had she taken the Cytotec - a powerful abortive drug - that she would have killed her own baby without even knowing.
Both she and her husband now want to highlight the shocking hospital blunders and faulty equipment that led to the misdiagnosis.
Michael said: 'There are so many other mothers this could have happened to.
'Their children could have died - viable children.'