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Thanks 4 life

Published on 03/25/2014 in Bioethical
Amaury and Dorothée de Vivies


"You have been wanting a baby and that baby is on the way. That’s good news"


Amaury and Dorothée de Vivies have been married for 12 years and have been living in Luxembourg for as many years. At 38 years old, they are parents of a lovely family that counts 5 children. Five children, that's what most people say so as not to hurt their feelings. But any one of the five children could correct this well intentioned mistake. They are not five but seven. Even though Gabriel's and Emmanuel’s lives were short, they were well lived. And none of their brothers or sisters could ever forget that

Amaury is telling a story he went through twice. It is because of this story that he and Dorothée decided to start helping parents who are going through the same trial.

The pregnancies progress normally, but after three months a problem is detected: the baby is a carrier of trisomy 14. This very rare pathology (one foetus out of 20 000), doesn’t prevent the baby from developing normally during the pregnancy but life outside the uterus is made impossible because of the symptoms of the disease. The verdict is given: “Your baby will not be able to live more than a couple of hours”. And then comes the times to make a quick decision: “This baby is not viable, it isn’t a “real” baby. You will not really be having a medical abortion as it isn’t really a “real” baby. Amaury and Dorothée are hit by a bomb; but the baby IS there. It had been longed for, it exists and will carry on existing: There will be no medical abortion. The pregnancy will be carried on until the term. The medical team agrees but since the pregnancy is being carried out normally, why and how can they support them in this decision? Only very few documents on trisomy 14 are found to help them. Six very difficult months in which they felt alone: no one knows how to support and no one understands a couple who is expecting a baby who, everyone knows, will only live for a couple of hours. It is this emptiness that Amaury and Dorothée found the most difficult to deal with. The birth, the babies’ follow up during its short life and the funeral: 3 stages the medical team knows how to deal with and in which they support the parents. But before and afterwards, no one was able to answer their questions.

The second baby, Gabriel, died at the end of 2012. In September 2013, the organization Thanks4life is created by Amaury and Dorothée and a friend of the couple, who is also Emmanuel’s Godfather. They want to be able to support parents who are faced with the same news they received, tell them their baby IS there, even if it will only live for a couple of hours. Thanks4life’s isn’t trying to act as a substitution for the medical team already in place, it’s just about supporting families by finding the right words, words of parents who have been through the same trial.

The association has only just been created and the need is great. Many parents are left on their own,  quite often without any answers to their questions and faced with a decision which has serious consequences and that they are expected to take in a couple of days. Thanks-4Life would like to become a beacon for these families: at the moment of the diagnosis, after a medical abortion, before the next pregnancy and for the members of a family in which one of the children has been diagnosed with Trisomy 14.

Because, as Audrey rightly said at the end of this conversation, the only important thing parents need to hear is “the baby IS really there. We are going to help you.”


To be a part of or make known Thanks4Life :thanks4life

By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -

By telephone: +352 691 30 68 48 -

On Facebook : Thanks4Life

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