We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.

Shelly Has A Baby

Television (Full Length) – 1996

This is the second of three documentaries made about Shelly West (Michelle Belesarius) who was crippled as a child by rheumatoid arthritis and blind from age 19. Against all odds — and medical advice — Shelly is pregnant; but she is all determination as doctors work through how her “tiny, twisted, little frame” will cope with the demands of pregnancy. An audience of 600,000 watched this doco with its compelling scenes as the cameras kept rolling while Shelly nearly died during childbirth, and her newborn daughter was whisked away to intensive care.

My doctor almost shouted `don't -- just don't', when I asked if I could have children. He said it would be life-threatening for me. A year later I walked, or rather wheeled, into his office and told him I was pregnant. I think I aged him 10 years in one second.
– Shelly West (Waikato Times, 23 Mar 2002)

Produced by

Logo for Colleen Hodge Productions

Colleen Hodge Productions


Made with funding from NZ On Air