A year later, they found out they were going to have a little baby girl, Andi-Kate. After the complications with their first child, they were both anxious but excited to grow their little family. What appeared to be a smooth pregnancy, took a major turn on her twenty-three week ultrasound. The doctors told Tessa something was wrong with the baby's lungs, and they needed to do further tests. In the beginning of her test, originally, they did not diagnose her condition accurately because her specific case was extremely rare. They diagnosed her twice incorrectly, but finally after an MRI realized Andi-Kate will battle Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). Further medical explanation is detailed below. Andi-Kate’s CDH is one of the more severe cases.
With this rare case, once born, Andi-Kate will be immediately hooked-up to life support and a feeding tube; and once stable, she will undergo a major surgery to rearrange her organs (her liver is sits on top of one of her lungs, which has now collapsed and her heart has shifted). She may possibly have several other surgeries, therapies, and treatments to follow. With her specific case, she could potentially be hospitalized for a year.
Tessa and Doug have met with several doctors and gathered many opinions. They prayed and considered many options and ultimately felt led to move Pennsylvania where the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia offers the best ongoing treatment and care. They know they will be leaving behind their support system consisting of family, close friends, and church family, but their faith is strong and they know their ultimate support system is with God. They are willing to do whatever it takes to give their daughter her best chance at life. They were given less than three weeks to move, to find a job, to find a place to live, and to be financially prepared.
We are reaching out and asking for prayers and any donations to assist with medical treatments, therapy, basic living, and travel to make sure Andi-Kate has every opportunity of life.
For every $10 given, your name and anyone else's you choose, will be written onto a turquoise (CDH awareness color) heart, collected in a shadow box that will hang above her crib in honor of those who believe in her miracle.
Read below for more information concerning her condition:
Fetuses who do not have liver herniated into the chest (liver down) usually have a less severe form of CDH and therefore a better prognosis. In our experience evaluating many hundreds of CDH patients, these patients do well after birth. We are, of course, delighted when we can predict a good outcome. These babies will still need specialized care after birth. We recommend these babies be delivered normally near term in a center with an intensive care nursery, pediatric surgery, and ECMO capability.
Fetuses with liver herniated into the chest and a lung-head ratio less than 1.0 have a more severe form of CDH. We can predict that they will have a very difficult time after birth. Most can be helped with very high level intensive care, and may need ECMO. However, the very intensive care required for the most severe cases can lead to complications and long-term problems, including breathing and feeding difficulties.
Although you can be given a prognosis on the severity of the CDH, until the baby for sure is born, there isn't a test to perform during pregnancy that can predict lung function. How your baby's lung's function will only be determined after they are born.