A young couple claimed that their unborn baby at risk for stunted growth and development was saved by the sex drug, Viagra.

Dave and Laura Liggins had little hope that their daughter will survive when, more than 20 weeks into the pregnancy, doctors advised that their baby, now named Casey, may not survive outside the womb due to low birth weight and stunted fetal development.

All that changed when doctors suggested that perhaps Viagra can make a difference, as experts found the drug can also boost blood supply to the fetus and increase chances of survival after birth.

After hearing this, the Liggins recalled, they were somewhat skeptical.

"When they first said Viagra we were, like, what?," recalled Laura. "But when they explained it then it made perfect sense. Never in a million years did I think I'd be taking it."

The Liggins were part of a study group to participate in a clinical trial by the St. Mary's Placental Clinic, under St. Mary's Hospital, to study the benefits of Viagra on pregnant women.

The couple was supported by Tommy's a charity that funds research efforts on premature births, miscarriages and stillbirths.

The last several weeks prior to Casey's delivery had been the hardest in the Liggins' lives. Even with the medication, Casey was growing progressively weaker due to poor blood flow from the placenta through her umbilical cord.

Dave said there was a time when they considered whether letting Casey go would be better, but decided to fight for the baby as hard as the baby was fighting to live.

"We decided if Casey had a chance, while ever she was fighting, then we had to keep fighting for her," Laura said in agreement.

Near 30 weeks into the pregnancy, blood flow to Casey has ceased, forcing the baby to be delivered prematurely at a mere 1.3 lbs. The family found the experience harrowing and nerve wracking, but miraculously, Casey survived and was released from the hospital after 12 weeks.

The happy couple said it was all thanks to St. Mary's Placenta Clinic and the Viagra clinical trial they participated in. They were glad that the faith they placed in the team's hands was not in vain.

"If we hadn't gone on that trial Casey wouldn't be here. We 100% believe she wouldn't have made it," Laura said. 

Photo: Felix E. Guerrero | Flickr

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