How this toddler’s death helped save her unborn brother’s life
After tragically losing her daughter to an undiagnosed heart condition her Sophie Wootton, always hoped her toddler’s death wouldn't be in vein.
PHOTO: Facebook/Sophia Wootton

After tragically losing her daughter to an undiagnosed heart condition her Sophie Wootton, always hoped her toddler’s death wouldn't be in vein – but she never imagined she'd go on to save her unborn brother. 

Sophie (25), from Northampton in the UK, was told that her heart severe condition – known as restrictive cardiomyopathy – wasn't genetic when she started trying for her own family in 2012. 

But her beautiful daughter, Isla, died just before her second birthday after doctors dismissed Sophie's concerns over her blue lips and loss of appetite.

"She was a really happy and healthy toddler, I tried to push my worries to one side as I trusted the doctors.

"But on May 8 2014 she had a sickness bug and after checking on her during the night I rang 999 as she seemed floppy and unresponsive 

"An hour and a half later while in hospital was pronounced dead, it such a sudden shock and I was heartbroken.”

It was only after her death that Sophie was told that her seemingly healthy daughter had the same heart defect that she'd faced 10 years ago before her transplant. 

"We had no idea she had a heart defect until after her death and I couldn't help but blame myself as it was the same mutation as mine.” 

Sophie was devastated, but later fell pregnant again in 2016 after meeting her partner, James (30) and gave birth to their son, Maxwell.

Due to Isla's undetected heart problem, Maxwell was closely monitored after he was born with heart scans every three months to check on his heart defect.

And during his scan in January 2018, Maxwell was placed on the heart transplant list in a bid to save his life.

"Hopefully we will get a call for Maxwell to get his new heart soon but you'd never know he had any problems at all. 

"He doesn't get blue lips and is constantly running around like most other children his age." 

Sophie is now sharing their story to raise awareness for congenital heart defects.

"I'd survived until I was 15 years old without detecting my heart problems but Isla hadn't been so lucky.

"I'd always hoped her life wouldn't be in vein and now it isn't as she has saved Maxwell.

"I could have unknowingly had two children with heart defects that were ticking time bombs.”

After Isla's death Sophie was told there was a 50 percent chance she'd pass on her genetic heart problem in the future. 

"It was always going to be a risk when I started trying for my second baby with my partner, James, but we remained optimistic that he wouldn't inherit the same condition as me,” Sophie says.

"Unfortunately he did but this time we had the chance to save his life and we are always taken seriously."

Sophie was a healthy teenager until she was 15 years old and visited the hospital with an infection on her leg.

After numerous tests doctors found fluid around Sophie's heart and told her the news that her heart was rapidly failing.

"I had no idea I had any problems with my heart, I hadn't experienced any breathlessness.

"But 17 days after being listed on the transplant list I was given a new heart and a second chance at life."

Sophie's restrictive cardiomyopathy is now detected as a genetic congenital heart defect by doctors across the country.

"The advances in heart research means that other children won't suffer like Isla,” she said.

"Maxwell will grow up knowing all about his life saving sister and we'll continue to keep her memory alive.

"I'm so grateful that Maxwell will soon be given a second chance like me, it's amazing that I have been given 10 years of amazing health thanks to my donor.

"Celebrating my 10th year with my new heart is bitter sweet at the moment but as soon as Maxwell gets his new heart we can hopefully move on and create more family memories together."




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