Despite a broken neck and a diagnosis that she’d never walk again, this quadriplegic woman went on to become a mum. Really!

  • 26 year old Nicole Crawford of Sydney broke her neck in a car accident when she was 18 years old 
  • She endured five rounds of IVF costing over $16,000 and gave birth to healthy baby Reagan
  • The single mother used a sperm donor and delivered her son via c-section
  • Her 53 year old mother is parenting the baby with her as Nicole does not have a partner 

When Nicole Crawford, of Sydney, broke her neck in a horrific car accident, doctors told her that she’d never walk again. Crawford had no feeling or movement below the neck. This left her a quadriplegic, in a wheel chair and knowing that she’d always need help in her everyday life.

Even though she can’t hold her baby, gently rock him or change a nappy, Crawford is still very much a mum.

Nicole Crawford before she became a paraplegic.
Nicole Crawford before she became a paraplegic.

At the young age of 18 Crawford was in an accident. As a back passenger in a soft-topped 4WD car, she was injured when the driver nose-dived off of a sand dune. The car flipped and Crawford broke her neck. Without movement under her neck, getting pregnant seemed out of the question. But, that didn’t stop Crawford, her desire to be a mum was greater than any obstacle!

She may be a quadriplegic, she may not have a partner and she may face odds that would stop most of us. But, she kept on going. Crawford made the decision to get pregnant – on her own. Okay, technically it wasn’t on her own. She had a fairly massive network of friends, family and medical pros helping her along. The mum decided to try IVF. Using a sperm donor, it took Crawford five rounds of IVF to get and stay pregnant.

nicole crawford 3

After 13 months of trying to conceive, Crawford finally got the news she had been waiting for – she was going to be a mum. She told the Daily Telegraph, “I was a little bit shocked, then ecstatic, then overwhelmed, then over the moon.”

Crawford’s journey was, obviously, not an easy one. Of course, the decision to get pregnant in the first place wasn’t simple. But, her mum offered to support her in every way possible. Now grandma, Sandra Crawford is doing much more than many mums would do for their child (and grandchild). She took an entire year off from work just to care for her new grandbaby.

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Before Crawford was allowed to undergo IVF treatments, IVF Australia had to take her case to their ethics committee. After reviewing the situation, and looking at Crawford’s at-home support system, they gave her what she wanted – the chance to start fertility treatments and possibly conceive.

Crawford’s pregnancy initially went well. Until at 27 weeks, she was diagnosed with viral pneumonia. After a hospitalization (she had to be ventilated in order to breath), Crawford went on to carry her baby almost without incident. As she neared the end of her pregnancy, the mum went into labor six weeks early. Doctors delivered the baby via C-section. Weighing in at 2.26kg, Crawford gave birth to Reagan Avery in November of 2016.

No, she can’t do everything that an abled bodied mum can. But, that won’t stop this amazing mother. With the help of her family, Crawford is busy caring for her newborn just like any other mum!

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All images via Daily Telegraph.

Author

Erica Loop is a mum, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. Along with writing for websites such as PBS Parents, care.com, Scary Mommy, mom.me, Modern Mom, education.com and others, she also is the creator of a kids' activities and art blog.

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