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Thursday, December 31, 1998 Published at 07:27 GMT


Health

Diane brings 'best Christmas present' home

Diane Blood: A peck on the cheek for Liam

Diane Blood has spoken publicly of her joy at being home for Christmas with her newborn son.


BBC Correspondent John Leyne: The baby who made legal history
Liam Stephen Blood, who was born a month premature by Caesarean section two weeks ago, was allowed home from the Jessop Hospital for Women in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on Christmas Eve after making rapid progress in an incubator since his birth.

His mother said having her 5lb 13oz son back home in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, for Christmas had come as a surprise but it was the best present she could have had.


[ image: The best Christmas present I could have had]
The best Christmas present I could have had
The 32-year-old who fought a three-year legal battle to conceive a baby with her dead husband's sperm said: "Liam and I had a peaceful Christmas at home together after we were discharged from hospital late on Christmas Eve.

"I didn't know before we saw a paediatrician in the late afternoon of that day that Liam would be well enough to go home. It was the best Christmas present I could have had."

Advertising executive Diane said she had not been able to buy Liam a present for Christmas but the new arrival had been unaffected by the excitements of the day.

She said: "As for Liam, he was unfazed by Christmas but Santa didn't forget him. He had lots of toys from friends and family but I hadn't been able to buy him anything - I just gave him lots of cuddles instead."

Mrs Blood was given permission to use her dead husband's sperm in a European court ruling.

Written consent

Her campaign to have her 30-year-old husband's baby began after he contracted bacterial meningitis and fell into a coma in February 1995.

Two sperm samples were put into the care of the Infertility Research Trust.

But after he died, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) refused to allow her to try to conceive, saying a dead man's sperm can only be used if he had given written consent.

The authority also refused her permission to take the samples abroad. Later, she is believed to have been accepted for treatment in Brussels.

In February, 1997, the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court ruling which endorsed the HFEA's decision.

It said the authority was wrong not to take proper account of European law, which gives every EU citizen the right to receive medical services in another member state unless there are overriding public policy reasons against it.





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