One of my amazing friends who I’ve gotten to know through Facebook has let me do a blog post on her son’s story who has Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia which is truly touching for those who have to go through it themselves or for those who haven’t gone through it themselves yet or ever in their lifetime. For mother’s I’m sure it’s going to bring tears to your eyes and you’ll want to get some tissues in hand ready to go for when the tears start rolling down your face.
Elijah’s story started just when he was in his momma’s stomach. It all started out when his mom was at her gender reveal ultrasound to find out the gender of her first child. But to her surprise not only did she find out the gender of her son at that time but her son was also diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Elijah’s heart was in the wrong place and he had a hole in his diaphragm. Doctors initially predicted that he would have a 50% chance of surviving once he arrived, then they later changed it to 90% chance of surviving once he arrived, which I myself can only imagine the mixed emotions both his mother and father had.
Once Elijah arrived he was brought into surgery four days after his birth which as you can imagine his parents had even more emotions and I’m sure were scared because as anyone knows there’s always risks when it comes to surgeries. In surgery, Elijah’s team of doctors found out that not only was his heart in the wrong place but his spleen, stomach, and small intestines were in his chest as well. They were able to fix it all, but now he has 75% of his left lung and the patch on his diaphragm is being monitored over the next few years as he grows. For Elijah there will always be a possibility of reherniation, hospitalizations, and lots of doctors visits among other things like his immune system being weak and vulnerable plus not being able to travel like others.
Elijah may have health problems but his parents are doing the best they can to let him live a happy life with doing different fun activities to give him lots of memories like taking him out on walks! He’s now two years old and tackling so much daily with the help of his parents.
CDH is a lifelong condition and can take any survivor at any point in life because of issues such as barotrauma that causes lung disease and scarring, which is definitely scary for parents of children with CDH like Elijah’s parents and other family members of those who suffer of CDH just like Elijah’s other family members. Since CDH is a birth defect in which the diaphragm fails to fully form and leaves an opening for abdominal organs to float in the chest cavity. In addition the lungs also get squished in the process and cannot grow properly. Therefore CDH survivors are also faced with respiratory problems their entire lives, the possibility of reherniation (the patch over the hole opening back up), among several other issues which is very scary to even think about.
One thing Elijah’s mother wants everyone to know is that she wishes everyone knew that CDH is a lifelong condition and that it is not able to be fixed after just one repair surgery.
In addition from myself the owner of this blog, all pictures I have permission to use from the mother of Elijah!