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Brooke Martin shares heartbreaking family announcement

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -- We often tell you that at WISH-TV, we are like a family. 

Our viewers are as much a part of that family as any of us, so we have some family news to share, and unfortunately it's not good news.

It is a story of faith and hope and love, and we are sharing it because Brooke Martin insisted you, as part of our family, need to know what's going on.

In late September, Brooke shared the joy of finding out she was pregnant, her baby due in April, a brother or sister set to join Brooke, her husband, Cole, and 2-year-old Max.

But a couple of weeks ago, dealing with a bad case of bronchitis that wouldn't go away, Brooke and Cole went to see her doctor.

"And the doctors made a rare discovery: Our baby was diagnosed with anencephaly, a rare condition in which the baby's skull does not develop," Brooke told News 8.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition happens in only 3 of every 10,000 births.

"We found out it's a girl, but she has zero chance of survival. We decided to carry her long term or as long as she survives," Brooke said. 

Cole said, "I'm just so proud of my wife, just the way she's handled this news, carried it every day since then." 

They say their faith is helping them get through.

"We have named her. Her name is Emma Noelle. Together, it sounds like Emmanuel, which means 'God is with us,'" Brooke said.

"We are heartbroken, you guys. We are so sad. But on the other hand, we are so confident that God has a plan for Emma, that he is going to redeem her story," Brooke said.

And you are part of that story, which is why Brooke and Cole wanted you to know the truth.

"This is just life, and life hurts sometimes. So please follow along this journey with us. Love on Emma as we will. And we will get through it together," Brooke said.  

Retired WISH-TV anchor David Barras talked with Brooke about the news. 

Dave: Brooke, this is a tough story. How are you doing physically and emotionally?

Brooke: First of all, thank you so much for doing that, it means a lot to us. I'm doing well, I really am. Physically, I'm doing great. I feel good. Emma and I are both healthy. Emotionally, it depends on the day that you ask me. Really, it depends on the minute. It's hard; it's the hardest thing I've ever been through, but what I can tell you honestly -- the overwhelming peace I have felt throughout this entire journey so far, and it's just begun -- has been unbelievable. We have felt such a comfort and peace, and I know that a lot of that is from an outpouring of support we have received from everyone. You never know until you get news like this how you'll receive it, and we can just say that the Lord has been faithful, and we have been incredibly at peace.

Dave: Give us a sense of the timeline on this. It's kind of uncertain, right?

Brooke: It is uncertain. Typically they go full-term. There is a chance we could lose Emma before that, but otherwise she's healthy. I was watching her kick and stretch around on the ultrasound. Her heartbeat's strong. Most likely she'll go full-term and at that point, there are a few different outcomes. She could pass during delivery, which is likely or she could survive a few hours or even a few days. But we won't even know a delivery date until much further down the road as she continues to grow and we monitor her progress.

Dave: What about the reason for telling everyone what is going on?

Brooke: Well, we consider the viewers our family and we don't just say that; those aren't just words. You, the viewers, go through everything with us and are so supportive and just like we share the good news, I consider it my duty to share the bad. It's life. It's what so many of us go through. We are not alone in this and we know that. It's honest and what's happening. I didn't want to hide anything and act like everything is fine when it's not, so out of sheer honesty.

Dave: Well, you have our heartfelt sympathy and support and anything we can do.

Brooke: Thanks, Dave. I appreciate you and appreciate everyone so much.

Watch an interview with Brooke and Cole below:


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