You can read their story below!
On January 31, 2018 Carmen, Will and brother Emmett (3.5 years old) went in for their unborn baby’s 20 week anatomy scan. This was a bittersweet day for them. They were informed their sweet baby was a GIRL!...but also informed something was not normal with what the doctors saw on the ultrasound. Their midwife explained that the ultrasound findings were indicating that their baby girl, Georgia, had Spina Bifida.
Carmen was referred to a high risk Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor and the following week it was confirmed that their baby did have Myelomeningocele Spina Bifida with Chiari Malformation. This is a rare and serious neural tube defect that affects the spinal cord and brain. There are different types of Spina Bifida but the most severe is myelomeningocele. The spine does not form correctly which leaves the spinal cord and nerves exposed outside of the body and unprotected (“open spine”). Most children with this birth defect survive, but they can be left with many disabilities, including paralysis, difficulty with bowel and bladder control, a Chiari II malformation, hydrocephalus (excessive fluid in the brain), developmental delay, and need for ventricular shunt.
Carmen and Georgia have qualified for an in-utero fetal surgery to repair the Myelomeningocele at UNC. This is huge and what they were praying for. Unfortunately, not every mom and baby with Spina Bifida qualify for this.
UNC is 1 of 4 hospitals in the US that performs this specialized surgery. In simple terms, the surgery consist of making an incision into the uterus to get to the lesion on the baby’s back. The baby’s butt and back are exposed and the pediatric neurosurgeon will then close baby’s spine up.
Spina Bifida is incurable but the fetal surgery could help improve Georgia’s quality of life. It could significantly reduce her need for a ventricular shunt, decrease risk for further nerve damage and increase the likelihood she’d be able to walk with or without assistance.
After many appointments, consults and prayers Carmen and Will have decided, with their medical team, that Georgia could greatly benefit from fetal surgery.
On March 13, 2018 Carmen will undergo surgery and remain in the hospital 4-7 days for close monitoring. The most common risk associated with surgery is premature labor. She will be out of work and on bedrest for the remainder of her pregnancy... in hopes to keep miss Georgia Mae baking for as long as possible! Carmen will also have weekly appointments at UNC for monitoring. A cesarean section will then be performed at 37 weeks.
I will keep you all updated as much as possible! Thank you all for your support and prayers! You will never know how much it means to Carmen and Will!
For more updates search:
“Georgia Mae’s Journey” on Facebook!
Don’t forget to Like and Share!!!
- Randall Martin
- Matthew Lask
- Pam King
- Zana Borden
- Kirk & Devon Metcalf
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