Marshall’s story

Simon and Hayley’s son Marshall was born with a CHD which went undetected during Hayley’s pregnancy, and tragically their son passed away soon after birth.

Hayley experienced a normal pregnancy aside from gestational diabetes, which she had experienced during her previous pregnancies. Due to the diabetes she had undergone at least four ultrasound scans and had been told her baby was perfectly healthy. Simon and Hayley’s son Marshall was delivered by c-section. Initially he seemed fine, but soon started to change colour and exhibit breathing difficulties. He was examined and Simon and Hayley were told he was seriously ill, and likely to die. Marshall had low oxygen levels in his blood and was battling to survive; he was in intensive care for the following six hours as doctors tried to stabilise him. Sadly the medical team told Simon and Hayley that there was nothing more they could do, and Marshall passed away.

Simon recalls: “we were in complete shock and nobody had any answers for us. Marshall was already a big part of the family, how was I going to go home and tell his two brothers that they were never going to meet him?”

The result of Marshall’s autopsy revealed he had the heart condition Transposition of the Great Arteries – a condition which is treatable if detected during pregnancy. However, Marshall’s CHD went undetected and as a result he was never given a chance at life.

“It breaks our hearts to know had this marshallcircleframedefect been spotted then things could have been very different and our son would most likely still be with us today,” Simon says. “We had never considered that something could be wrong with our baby’s heart and until that point had trusted that we were in good hands at each and every ultrasound session. Now I know the reality to be very different.

“Ultrasound scans are not a time to be passive and trusting in the sonographer. They are the opportunity to ensure your unborn child gets every chance at life and every parent should be encouraged to take an active role to ensure that serious life-threatening defects are not overlooked.”

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