What a close call! An adorable little girl was almost aborted after her parents were told by a doctor during a routine ultrasound that their baby had died.

In a shocking story that made headlines all over the world, Ben and Susanna Williams, shares how their daughter Riley came close to never being born.

The couple were told that Susanna had tragically suffered a ‘missed miscarriage’ at six weeks, reported the Daily Mail. This occurs when the baby passes away in the womb but the mum’s body fails to recognise the loss.

They were given two options – to have the foetus removed surgically or allow her body to miscarry in a natural manner.

Good News!

Thank goodness, the parents were for a second opinion at an NHS clinic and discovered that the unborn bub was still very much alive.

While the William’s were overjoyed about the good news, they were furious that they had been put through an emotional rollercoaster by the doctor at the private clinic, who originally made the erroneous (and potentially fatal) diagnosis.

‘We could have got rid of her’

Susanna, told The Daily Mail: ‘Every time I look at Riley, I can’t help think how she might not have made it.

‘We could have got rid of her. And I fear other couples might have aborted healthy babies after being given wrong information at private scanning clinics.’

Susanna explains that she had miscarried at eight weeks during a previous pregnancy so wanted to put her mind at ease. The NHS only offers expectant mums a 12-week ultrasound so she decided to book into Window To the Womb, a private clinic in Chessington, South West London.

‘It had decent reviews and did scans from six weeks,’ she said.

Photo via The Daily Mail


No Parent Ever Wants To Hear This

According to the couple, after performing an internal scan, sonographer Dr Ashish Sharma turned to them and said: ‘Unfortunately, your baby stopped growing at six weeks. You are actually eight weeks’ pregnant, not seven as you thought. But there is no foetal heartbeat.’

He explained to the devastated couple that she had experienced a ‘missed miscarriage’ and they should make a hospital appointment to discuss an option of having a D&C.

Susanna was leaning towards having a D&C, but a hospital nurse advised the mum to wait a week as it was still early days in her pregnancy.


The hospital then offered to do a repeat scan and the sonographer told them: ‘I’ve got some good news for you. There’s your baby – and that’s your baby’s heartbeat.’

The couple were elated at this news but were understandably cautious. ‘I thought it still might go wrong,’ said Susanna. ‘I only began to relax after the 20-week scan.’

In May, their healthy baby daughter, Riley was born.

No Apology

Ben followed up with Dr Sharma to tell him of the grave mistake. ‘But when I talked to him, there was no apology,’ ‘Instead, he said, “I’m really happy it worked out for you.” ’

According to Ben, Dr Sharma said he had advised the couple to get a second opinion. However the parents are adament that no follow-up scan was recommended. They have made a plea for private ultrasound clinics to let their patients know that results may not be absolutely accurate, especially in the early days of pregnancy.

Window To The Womb has subsequently apologised to the couple for any distress.

A spokeswoman described the mistake as ‘an isolated incident’ and said the clinic scanned more than 100,000 pregnant woman a year.

‘We recognise that we failed on this occasion,’ she said.

  • I’m glad they decided to get a second opinion.


  • Sadly not the first time I have heard of this happening with scans.


  • Wouldn’t they have done another scan before aborting the baby? I can’t imagine they would do the procedure without being completely sure!


  • :-( They had to pass through so much stress because of this. Luckily they didn’t do anything hasty. It was really a bad mistake from the hospital!!

    • The Private Clinic may not be in a hospital. Hopefully the hospital she attended would have at least listened for a heartbeat before contemplating another ultrasound and and surgery.


  • That’s horrendous. How stressful for the parents. Pleased you have your little girl safe in your arms now.


  • I’ve heard this sort of story more than once – locally, too.

    • I have too – the couple I know had another scan – so thankful.


  • Thats shocking, thank God they picked the second option. I also was told my baby died at 10 weeks, they also gave me the option, and told me if I chose the second option I would probably miscarry within the week. A week to the day I did miscarry. Still very sad and upsetting to this day. Losing any baby is sad. Have since had 4 more miscarriages (one at 18 weeks) but have 4 lovely children.


  • This is apalling and shocking and disgraceful on the Doctor’s part. This would have been so traumatic for the family. So pleased they have a healthy baby now.


  • That’s terrible – I used one in Brisbane called ‘Precious Previews’ and they are very upfront in saying that they are not medical professionals and that they can’t give any diagnosis, only tell you the gender of your baby and let you have a look at them in 3D. That place needs to be shut down, things like that just shouldn’t happen!


  • This is horrific! What they must have gone through emotionally and mentally … so glad they got a second opinion and bub is A OK!


  • I’m sure the Doctor was embarrassed, but they should be sued. That is disgraceful. Glad Bub is well though.


  • So glad this girl is alive and well !
    Errors with ultrasounds are made daily, the results are just not accurate.
    A friend of mine got told her baby would be severely handicapped and had no chance to survive, so were adviced to terminate the pregnancy, however their child was perfectly healthy !


  • How horrible for them, the mental anguish they must have gone through. Am I wrong in thinking, though, that any further procedure would include another ultrasound where they would have discovered that the foetus was alive?


  • Great that they git another opinion.


  • I’m glad they got another opinion, I wonder if this happens more often than we know


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