My name is Janessa Zariah Torres, I was born at 34 weeks and 5 days. My journey started when my mommy had her first ultra sound, the Doctors found what appeared to be a "cauliflower" like object in my mom's womb. After going to a high risk OBGYN it was comfirmed... I was diagnosed with Gastroschisis which is a relatively rare abdominal wall defect in which a babies intestines-sometimes all organs are protruding outside of the belly. I was also diagnosed with dextrocardia a rare heart condition in which the heart is pointing to the right side instead of the left. Ever since the diagnosis my mommy had to be seen by high risk OBGYNs, her care was transferred over to the hands of Cedars-Sinai. As much as my mommy wished that there was something in her hands to be done in order for me to be okay... there was not a thing. All there was to do was to learn all about my conditions and be involved with my care. The first couple of weeks of life were very complicated and scary, due to the exposure of amniotic fluid in my intestines, they began to dilate and lose blood circulation which is not uncommon. However, my story is a little different than most gastroschisis babies. My intestines were so dilated and swollen that my Doctors were not able to repair my defect as soon as they can with other babies. Which brings me to 161 days and counting in the NICU(New Born Intenstive Care Unit) at Cedars-Sinai. I am alive and fighting all thanks to the many beautiful hands that I have been blessed with to care for me throughout my complicated medical journey. I have a long medical journey ahead of me and I dont know what the future holds for my family and I but one thing I know is that my mommy, daddy and ofcourse my wonderful 3 year old brother who loves me very much will be there to experience everything together as a family. All funds will be used to help with my medical journey as a gastroschisis and dextrocardia baby. My Family and I will be forever changed and grateful for everyone who's crossed our paths... We thank you for your support.
- RACHEL COLLISON
- Katrina Gloudeman