Toledo Blade: Sylvania Twp. couple releasing book on receiving wrong embryo

AUTHOR: | POSTED: February 11, 2011 | COMMENTS: None Yet - Post a Comment

Carolyn Savage


Sean and Carolyn Savage of Sylvania Township, who triggered headlines and tugged at heartstrings after they announced in 2009 that Mrs. Savage, as a result of a medical error, was pregnant with another woman’s baby, will release a book about their experience on Valentine’s Day.

Inconceivable: A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn’t Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift, available beginning Monday from HarperOne, tells the story of how Mrs. Savage received the wrong embryos at a fertility clinic and how the couple decided to give the baby to his genetic parents.

Valentine’s Day is a fitting release date for the book because the couple “learned that our experience is not only about the inconceivable choices we faced but also about unconditional love — love for the boy we nurtured into this world, but could not raise,” according to an e-mail message from the Savages, who, because of a contractual agreement related to the book release, were unavailable Thursday for interviews. They will be featured on Dateline NBC at 9 p.m. Friday and have been booked on other television programs, including The Today Show; The Joy Behar Show, and CTV Canada AM.

“Your love and concern for us the past two years has been a much-needed source of strength. We hope that by sharing our journey with the world, we can help those facing difficult challenges and encourage many to marvel at the miracle of life, and the gifts of unconditional love. Ultimately, we are leaving behind a record so that someday this very special boy will know that his life, to us, will always be a gift,” the couple said in their e-mail.

The Savages, who both write blogs posted on the book’s Web site and encourage others to share stories about their inconceivable choices, will discuss and sign copies of their book at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4940 Monroe St,, Toledo, at 7 p.m. Thursday, and at Books-A-Million in Levis Commons, Perrysburg, at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 19. The 304-page book costs $26.99.

The Savages, who had been trying to expand their family for years, underwent an in-vitro fertilization transfer in February, 2009, and, shortly after, learned the pregnancy test was positive but the clinic had transferred the wrong embryos.

Then came the decisions: end the pregnancy, sue for custody, or give the infant to his genetic parents, Shannon and Paul Morell of Sterling Heights, Mich.; both couples went to the same fertility clinic. Mrs. Savage gave birth in September, 2009, to a boy at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, and the baby was given to the Morells.

About that time, Mr. Savage had suggested that names may have been more than a coincidence in how his wife was implanted with the wrong embryos. Mrs. Savage and Shannon Morell share the same name of Savage. It is Mrs. Morell’s maiden name and her Michigan voting records listed her as Shannon Savage-Morell.

Inconceivable looks at how modern medicine could make such a mistake and the legal ramifications that ensued with both the genetic family and the clinic. The book chronicles Mrs. Savage’s pregnancy; the couple’s faith and relationship to their church, and their marriage.

“Carolyn and Sean loved this baby, making it impossible for them to imagine how they could give him life and then give him away. In the end, Inconceivable is a story of what it is to be a parent, someone who nurtures a life, protects a soul, only to release that child into the world long before you’re ready to let him go,” according to the book’s Web site,

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