Couple expecting baby with one-in-ten chance of survival describe how pregnancy blog inspired support from around the world
After four cycles of fertility treatment to conceive their first child, Alissa and Matt Peppley, from Tumwater, Washington, were stunned when they learned they were expecting a second time.
But their joy turned to worry when they were told that their unborn daughter had a rare heart defects, giving her just a one-in-ten chance of survival.
Now the baby, due to be induced on Thursday, is at the centre of a global fundraising effort and prayer chain, hoping for her survival.
Heartbreaking prospect: Alissa and Matt Peppley, from Tumwater, Washington, know their unborn daughter only has a ten per cent chance of survival
Mrs Peppley, who is faced with the heartbreaking prospect that her daughter may not live more than a couple of hours, says she already considers the child a miracle.
She told King 5 News: “We believe Anna, this baby, is a gift, from God, and it”s precious and she has a purpose.”
In the interview, she and her husband described their shock at first finding out about the baby”s problems at the 20-week scan.
Miracle pregnancy: The couple went through four cycles of fertility treatment to conceive their son, Isaac, now 21 months
Heart defect: The Peppleys were devastated to learn, at the 20-week scan, that all was not well with their unborn baby
“It looked like she had hypo plastic left heart syndrome,” Mrs Peppley said. “She didn”t have a complete heart. That was quite shocking.”
The couple, already parents to 21-month-old Isaac, were told that their little girl would have to have three rounds of surgery before her third birthday.
But the situation worsened following a second ultrasound, when they were told that there were further complications with the veins running from the lungs to the heart.
“It was about a month later that we went back for a follow up visit and that”s when they found the second heart defect, Mr Peppley recalled.
Network of hope: The couple”s story on their pregnancy blog has inspired an outpouring of support from around the world, and even a prayer chain
The couple, who set up a blog to keep family and friends up-to-date on the progress of their pregnancy, say they are overwhelmed by the volume of support it has inspired.
“We have prayers going up all over the nation, all over the world that are going up for us,” Mr Peppley said. “We”re doing okay.”
And his wife remains philosophical about the future.
“It doesn”t matter why, if any one person is affected in a good way by her life, then it”s worth it,” she says. “And that”s already happened.”