National News

Woman risks her life to save unborn child

Posted June 11, 2018 2:50 p.m. EDT

— An Aberdeen woman was given a heartbreaking choice, to terminate her pregnancy or risk her life.

She and her husband decided to take a chance, and it was a rewarding success.

This weekend, the couple celebrated their son Ayden's first birthday.

Family and friends gathered at Kristen and Roger Holland's home in Aberdeen to celebrate Ayden's amazing journey, one that many thought was impossible.

Twelve weeks into her pregnancy, Holland was diagnosed with heart failure. The condition required open heart surgery. Because Holland's blood pressure was too low to support herself and the pregnancy, doctors recommended a medical termination.

"There was a risk of death, there was a risk of early delivery, there was a risk of miscarriage," said Stacy Fisher, MD, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of women's and complex heart diseases at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Fisher along with a team of around 30 experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center worked together to keep Holland and her baby alive.

"When they told me I was having problems and my heart was closing and stuff was going on, I had already heard, at the time, his heartbeat and I wasn't going to give up," Holland said.

There were scares along the way, but at 28 weeks, Holland was given a caesarean section. Three days later, she had an aortic valve replacement later. Mom and baby survived and are healthy.

Holland tells WMAR, if you have the fight and determination, anything can happen.