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Last Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
Hysterectomy 'is option' for girl
Olivia Walker
Nine-year-old Olivia requires round-the-clock care
A Liverpool woman is considering asking doctors to perform a hysterectomy on her severely disabled daughter.

Kim Walker has asked doctors at Alder Hey Children's hospital to give her options to stop nine-year-old daughter Olivia from going through puberty.

She has severe mental and physical disabilities as well as epilepsy.

Alder Hey has said it will only perform a hysterectomy on a child in very extreme cases and has no plans currently to undertake the procedure.

This case comes after the mother of a severely disabled teenager from Essex asked doctors to perform the operation on her daughter.

They are now seeking legal approval before carrying out the surgery.

Nine-year-old Olivia from Halewood, is unable to walk, talk, or feed herself. She also has epilepsy and osteoporosis and requires 24-hour care.

Kim Walker
It's a hard decision to have to make
Kim Walker, mother

Mrs Walker explained why she is seriously considering the operation for her daughter.

"Olivia has got a high pain threshold and she can't communicate, she very rarely cries.

"When she is in pain it's shown through seizures - if she has stomach ache she could have more seizures - even in her sleep."

She approached the hospital for advice last year and said she was still weighing up the options.

"One type of hysterectomy could do her more damage than good and if I leave her the way she is, that could still do her more damage so it's a hard decision to have to make," she said.

'Don't understand'

It is a decision she says she is not taking lightly despite criticism from disability rights campaigners who have spoken out against the idea.

"These are people who probably haven't got special needs children and don't understand what the parents go through on a day to day basis," she said.

"I can't see why they should have an opinion on it unless they are going through the same thing themselves."

There are four main options for Olivia, she could have contraceptive implants, take the contraceptive pill, have a full hysterectomy or a partial hysterectomy, which would leave the ovaries intact.

Olivia's mother said she does not want her daughter take the pill or have an implant as she does not want her to take any more medication and is worried about the risk of thrombosis due to Olivia's severely impaired mobility.

Mrs Walker said: "I was thinking more of the procedure where they leave the ovaries in, but she'll still have to go through some sort of hormonal change, so its like catch 22 - so I'm still thinking about it."

A spokesperson from Alder Hey said: "A procedure like this would not be carried out on any child until all aspects of the child's wellbeing had been considered and all other options exhausted."

Olivia Walker's mother's reasons for wanting the operation



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