Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sperm donor passes on fatal heart defect to nine children

A possibly fatal, genetic heart defect has been passed on to nine of the 24 children a sperm donor "fathered.'

This report is said to be from a "medical journal report." One child died from heart failure at the age of 2. Two teenagers have "developed systems and are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest," and one was implanted with a defibrillator.

It is the second documented instance of a genetic condition being inherited through sperm donation. The children are said to range in age from 7 to 16, one  born to the donor's wife.

Symptoms can include an irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath but many cases go undetected until sudden death. The condition is often the culprit when young athletes collapse and die suddenly. Treatment includes medication and an implanted defibrillator to prevent sudden death.
The donor is now 42 years old, has not been identified and had no symptoms of the disease known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, when he donated his sperm in the early 1990's. The donor's condition was not diagnosed until after one of his children was born with the disease.

I understand that sperm donors enable loving people to have a child of their own. I'm sure most of these children are greatly blessed by their parents, but...there are so many complications, and when one occurs, it is usually awful. Maybe some of us should not have children. Not because we would not be a good parent, but because we cannot have a child without a spousal donor. My apologies to all the wonderful children enjoying a fine life and contributing to the world in a fine way. We are blessed to have you.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton