Mum shares the impossible choice she was left to make during her pregnancy.

Sam Stasinowsky shares how at her 22-week ultrasound all she really wanted to know was if she was expecting a baby boy or girl.

But when the sonographer was silent she knew something was terribly wrong.

Her little girl was diagnosed with a major heart defect.

“They’d already made up their mind,” she said.

“That it was best for us to not continue the pregnancy.”

But Ms Stasinowsky went through with the pregnancy anyway.

Little Sophie was born with her major heart arteries reversed and needed immediate surgery. A surgery with a 90% success rate.

Sam said she is still shocked that she was advised to terminate her pregnancy.

“It still amazes me that when we went for the ultrasound and were told there was a problem with Sophie’s heart that they were so quickly talking of termination, without even giving us a full diagnosis and saying we didn’t have long to decide what we wanted to do.

“When we visited Dr Cooper in the heart centre for children at Westmead hospital he was telling us there was a 90% success rate with Sophie’s condition (TGA). It makes me wonder why termination was even brought up at our ultrasound.”

Sophie is now two-years-old.


Parents speak out saying Sam was not alone

Since sharing her story many families have also reached out saying they too were advised to terminate their pregnancy because their baby was not viable with life. Thankfully many parents ignored medical advice and now have wonderful Heartkids that they love dearly.

Little Sophie suffers from the same heart condition my own son was diagnosed with 14 years ago.

We didn’t know until a few hours after he was born. It was not picked up during any of my pregnancy scans. I never once considered asking the sonographer if they had checked my son’s heart closely.

In a way I am glad we didn’t know, because we were later advised that a termination would have been suggested. We would have had a huge decision on our hands.

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Heartbreaking to think he might not be alive today

14 years ago we had no idea about congenital heart disease. It was so terrifying.

I fear back then, not knowing any better, I probably would have followed medical advice and possibly terminated my pregnancy.

Not having as many resources to turn to online or knowing there was a whole family of Heartkids out there for support. Not realising that our son had a strong chance of a full life ahead of him. (read our story here)

It still breaks my heart to think about what could have been. Imagine if we had made the wrong decision? Look at him now! Nothing stops him.

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More support for families

Sam said she would really love for there to be some sort of support package given to parents at the ultrasound clinic when they learn their child has a CHD (congenital heart condition).

“Imagine if there was a brochure from HeartKids and links to online resources so parents can get the support they need from the heart community and help to make these tough decisions.”

Congenital heart disease is the greatest killer of Australian children under one and every day in Australia eight babies are born with a heart defect.

You can find more info and support at Heartkids.

Share your comments below

  • This is very sad, that drs think termination is the main option, give parents the full facts and let them make the decision with all information needed to make the best decision.


  • Termination just simply isn’t an option for many parents who want to love and care for their children no matter what.


  • Is it a case of the almighty dollar?


  • They should be told straight up all of the conditions and problems and solutions first! Then let the parents to decide what they want to do about it not imply they should just terminate.


  • I read another story on here about a pregnant mum who was told it would be best to abort her baby at 20 weeks, and she did. I immediately thought of mums like this, who are advised to and don’t and have healthy babies


  • Geez with success rates like that it almost seems that termination was suggested because the drs couldn’t be bothered!


  • I myself am currently going trough that i was told at 14 weeks for me to terminate i am going on 28 weeks 5 days already and my baby is still in their and fighting with every little obe of his heart beats so I chose to fight for him their is a dr that said its ok if u choose not to terminate baby won’t even make it to the 28th mark and I have faith my baby will be ok he has leviated cardia and other complications with his heart. So yes for anymom out there going trough this dont jump into what drs asume is best for u. Under this circumstances as a mother girl with what your heart tells u.


  • Termination seemed an extreme suggestion given the circumstances.


  • 90% is a rather large chance of success. I can’t imagine why anyone would suggest termination with that high a chance of success!


  • Offering a termination of pregnancy when the operation had a 90% chance of success? They were a little bit too quick to propose that indeed.


  • I think it’s great they tell you, so you can decide what is best in your situation.


  • I don’t entirely agree. I still feel that if we’d known about (both) of my sons’ conditions, we would have been better armed to deal with the consequences.


  • Amazing that on basis of an ultrasound, without full diagnosis that they are so quickly talking of termination !! Crazy actually !


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