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How Jesse’s Life Was Saved

How Jesse’s Life Was Saved

I was 20 weeks pregnant as I walked into a women’s imaging centre with my husband and one-year-old daughter. We were excited to find out if we were having a little boy or girl. What we did find out caused my world to shatter.


During the scan, I noticed the obstetrician scanning the same thing repeatedly, and for some time. I was fighting and supressing fears that something could be wrong with our baby. The doctor gently placed his hand on my leg and said nothing for a moment. I knew then that my fear had been realised. “I’m so sorry” was all he could say at first, I could tell he genuinely was. My heart was pounding so hard I could scarcely hear, let alone comprehend the words that followed. He told us that our baby’s heart was not in his chest where it should be, but protruding through his abdomen. Our baby had a rare and fatal condition called Pentalogy of Cantrell. With a fatality rate of 90%, our baby’s chances didn’t seem great. As I was lying on the ultrasound table my head spinning, trying hard to compose myself, the obstetrician asked very politely and without much emotion if I would like to terminate the pregnancy. This caught me off guard completely as it was the last thing I wanted or expected to hear. My immediate response was “no”.

As we went home that night, we decided to research Pentalogy of Cantrell. The images we found were of aborted, deformed babies which made me feel sick to the stomach. Surely abortion isn’t the answer. For me it wasn’t even an option. This child’s life was precious and worth fighting for, no matter the cost. He deserved the chance to fight for life. I knew God had given me this special child to carry, and carry him I would.

Following further investigation, it was clear that our son had multiple abnormalities including a heart with only three chambers, which further complicated the situation. In the weeks and months that followed, we met with different doctors from various fields of medicine. Anyone who could possibly have an input did. With every doctor the same question would arise, “do you want to terminate the pregnancy?”, “it’s not too late” was also used, as well other forms of suggestion. Even during an appointment designated to discuss the birth plan I was asked by another doctor, whom I had just met if I wanted to have an abortion. Abortion was presented as the best solution. I felt unspoken pressure from doctors’, as though we were making the wrong decision by declining to have an abortion. My conscience however would not allow me to even consider it as an alternative. After declining time and time again, repeatedly requesting it to be documented that termination was not an option did the topic of abortion cease to arise.

Plans for a caesarean were put into place for the birth of our son. We were told to expect medical intervention to try keep him alive due to limited oxygen circulating through his body. Surgery would likely be required shortly after birth. I was prepared for the worst but had much hope that my son would survive. I knew his life was in The Lord’s hands and trusted Him completely.

I went into labour 10 days early. Despite expectations of intervention, the moment Jesse was born, to everyone’s surprise he kicked and screamed the house down! No medical intervention was needed to keep him alive, no surgery was needed after birth. As though by miracle his heart, as abnormal as it is, was maintaining his life. Jesse was immediately transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital for monitoring and investigations. Jesse spent the first month of life as an inpatient for nothing other than observation.

Despite a rough start to life and having undergone multiple surgeries, Jesse is a thriving, active and typical three-year-old boy. He has beaten the odds against him and has overcome many hardships. He is our miracle child and fighter, full of life and confidence. A life which would have ceased to exist had we chosen abortion. As parents it is our duty to give our children the best chance at life, regardless of the circumstances. Human life in all its forms is valuable and precious, it should be preserved not discarded without regard.

In times of great uncertainty lies a calm and still voice of a loving and merciful God. Whom if we put our faith and trust in turns every impossible situation into a miracle, and a testimony of His unending love and strength to those in need.

By Denissa Cojocea

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