Couple turns to surrogacy after discovering pregnancy could mean death

Local couple look to crowdfunding website to have child

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Most couples dream of the day they find out they're pregnant. But for one local couple that dream was shattered when the wife found out getting pregnant could kill her.

"It was devastating, it was completely devastating," Holly Wise said.

Holly is talking about her recent revelation that she would never be able to carry a baby.

She got the news recently after talking with a prenatal genetic counselor.

"They said I could go 16 weeks and my lungs could fail and I might not make it to the hospital in time, and he could lose me and the baby," Wise said.

Looking at Holly, you would never be able to tell the 27-year-old has had more than 30 surgeries to correct her congenital scoliosis, or abnormal shaped spine.

Holly's first surgery was when she was just 6-weeks-old.

"Growing up with all the problems I had, my second home was a hospital. I never knew any different," Holly said.

In addition to Holly's scoliosis, she also has kidney problems, only 4 fingers on one hand, and restrictive lung disease.

Holly's condition is known as VACTERL syndrome. VACTERL is an acronym used to describe the different abnormalities that occur together. Dr .Richard Gross with MUSC has been seeing Holly since she was an infant.

"She was missing some ribs, some were fused together and she had a visible deformity when she was just a day old," Dr. Gross said.

For Holly, the battle has been more bearable since she met her husband Sam more than two years ago.

"I knew it would take a special man that could take care of me, and a man that would have a wife that they have to take care of a little extra," Wise said.

After talking to family, the couple decided to try to get a surrogate to carry for them. The couple soon realized a surrogate could cost them more than $15,000.

Holly says they also looked at adoption and that cost was even higher.

Holly does not work because of her disability, and with Sam being the only one working the couple decided to lean on their faith.

"I have prayed long and hard about this and I know if God wants us to have a baby we will," Holly said.

Recently, the couple started an online fund through


The couple is thankful for the outpouring of support and say they're one step closer to having the baby they've been praying about.

"When they get here, I'm going to say you are so loved for what we had to go through to get you here, and it's going to make it so much more worth it," Wise said.

Holly says in just a few weeks of her GoFundMe page being up, more than $768 dollars has been raised.

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