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Mother who spent 47 years looking after her son admits she wishes he had never been born

A woman said she had dedicated more than four decades of her life to caring for her son, who needed constant care. While she confessed that she loved him dearly, what she admitted next was shocking and landed her at the center of a media storm.

A parent’s love for their children is pure, selfless, and endless. A child knows that no matter what happens in his life, he can always return to his mother and father and feel safe in their loving and comforting presence.

But sometimes parents may be unable to express the emotional phases they endure in taking responsibility for their children. The story we share today highlights a parent’s dilemma and his choice to speak about the many challenges he faced along his journey.

Gillian Relf. | Source: YouTube.com/LooseWomen


Gillian and Roy Relf of Kent, England were childhood sweethearts. Eventually, the couple decided to spend their lives together and married when Gillian was 19 and Roy was 20. Almost a year later, they welcomed their first child together – a baby boy, Andrew.

After embracing parenthood for the first time, the Relfs were eager to welcome another bundle of joy and were eager to complete their family. Their heartiest wishes have come true when Gillian became pregnant with her second baby.

However, there was something that nagged Gillian about her pregnancy. She couldn’t determine if it was her sixth sense or her maternal instincts, but she felt strongly that something was wrong with her baby.


According to Gillian, there were no prenatal tests or blood tests at the time to detect abnormalities. Additionally, she said doctors and midwives insisted she was hysterical and refused to perform amniocentesis.

Over the years, she said she had had a great time with her son, but part of her worried about his future and how he would cope with life after her husband and she.

Gillian, then 22, said she was told that a healthy young mother like her had a relatively low risk of having a baby with Down syndrome. On a Sunday in 1967, at Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Gillian and Relf welcomed their second child, a son named Stephen.


Three days later, Gillian remembers watching her baby boy in bed; he had small almond eyes, a flat nose, and a crease in the palms of his hands. She gasped and told her mother what she noticed – Stephen had Down syndrome.

But her mother told her she was sure not. According to Gillian, everyone, including doctors and health visitors, told her nothing for almost seven months, and she continued to convince herself that everything was fine.

When Stephen fell ill that summer and Gillian took him to the hospital, she heard a pediatrician call him “baby with Down’s syndrome.” She said she knew she was right all along, and in that moment, his world has changed.


So many questions ran through Gillian’s mind that she said she couldn’t answer. The Kent resident noted that her life changed drastically that day, and while she knows people expected her to accept her son’s condition, part of her thought otherwise. . She expressed:

“Although I love my son and protect him fiercely, I know our lives would have been happier and much less complicated if he had never been born. I would have liked to have an abortion. I want it every day.”

The mother-of-two also mentioned that if Stephen hadn’t been born, she would have had another baby and had a normal family life where her eldest son would have the comfort, not the responsibility, of a sibling after she and her husband were gone.


In an interview on ‘Loose Women’ in 2014, Gillian revealed that caring for Stephen, who struggled to speak and function in the modern world, was causing her immense stress and grief for her and her family. family. She added:

“My son can’t speak. He has to use sign language. No one can understand what he’s saying. Having a child Downs has had a huge impact on our lives. We couldn’t go do a lot of things, we missed family celebrations.”

Gillian recalled feeling physical pain when she watched her friends’ toddlers reach milestones while her son behaved like a baby. She said Stephen didn’t walk until he was five and could only communicate through sign language.

The distraught mother shared that when her son fell ill, he gave her no indication of what was wrong with him, and meeting his needs was a constant struggle that no one understood. Gillian said she was also admitted to hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown.

As she struggled with the emotional baggage and added guilt, Gillian noted that Stephen had been offered permanent residency at a nearby hospital in Kent. The mother confessed that she felt relieved despite his own mental struggles, her son would be taken care of.


The mother said she understood why people were hurt by her comments and noted that she had faced massive criticism and backlash all her life. But she said she wanted to talk about the difficulties she faced as a parent. Further, she said:

“I would challenge any of them to walk a mile in the shoes of mothers like me, saddled for life as I am, with a needy, difficult, exasperating child who will never grow up, before they don’t judge us.”

Gillian revealed her marriage also suffered and she and Roy became depressed. She recalled a time when her son left the hospital and couldn’t stop crying. Later, he was diagnosed with a hereditary disease called hemolytic anemia.


Doctors told the Relfs their son needed an operation to remove his spleen or he wouldn’t survive. According to Gillian, Stephen spent five weeks in Great Ormond Street Hospital recovering. When he was 11, he returned home to live with his family full time for 18 months.

Gillian noted that she was so busy taking care of her youngest son that she she barely left the house. Since leaving school, he has lived in five different town halls and visited his parents on weekends.

In 2014, Gillian said her son was living in sheltered accommodation in Kent with two women who also have Down syndrome. Over the years, she said she had had a great time with her son, but part of her worried about his future and how he would cope with life after her husband and she.


Gillian also confessed that she was worried about Stephen’s safety. She recalls an incident in which her 18-year-old son was physically abused by a carer at her facility, and she and Roy did their best to move it to another location.

While celebrating her golden wedding anniversary in 2014 with her husband, Gillian said:

“I know this will shock many: he is my son, whom I have loved, nurtured and defended for almost half a century, but if I could turn back time, I would abort him in a I’m now 69 and Roy is 70 and we’re celebrating our golden wedding anniversary next month.”

While chatting with the panel on “Loose Women,” Gillian explained why she considered abortion. She says:

“The reason I said I would have had an abortion is because I wouldn’t want a child to go through the problems that Steven went through.”

What do you think of this mother’s story? Do you support his opinion? What would you do if you were in his place? Don’t forget to share this story with your family and friends.


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