Abigail Rose Beutler was born 12 weeks premature on July 15, at two pounds and 12 ounces. She has no kidneys and has been undergoing dialysis at a hospital in California, thecongresswoman wrote in a Facebook post.
But thanks to a “simple but unproven treatment” at Johns Hopkins Hospital involving in utero saline injections, the baby’s lungs developed well beyond what doctors expect for a child with the ailment known as Potter’s sequence — and today she is breathing on her own, her parents said.
Babies who don’t develop kidneys — a condition called bilateral renal agenesis — are unable to produce urine in the womb. Since their own urine contributes to the amniotic fluid that surrounds them and helps them develop, those who lack it often have misshapen features and their lungs fail to grow. At birth, they are unable to breath and quickly suffocate.
Herrera Beutler had already heard discouraging opinions from two separate doctors before she went to Hopkins. At the Baltimore hospital, [perinatologist Jessica] Bienstock injected her uterus with saline to confirm the diagnosis with an ultrasound. What she saw what looked like a textbook case of BRA-caused Potter’s sequence, according to a statement from the hospital — no kidneys, a deformed head and chest.
But at another checkup a week later, that diagnostic saline seemed to be having a beneficial effect — the baby was developing better and moving around — and Bienstock repeated the treatment.
Please remember this family in your thoughts and prayers, especially little Abigail. Assuming all continues to go well, she will have a tough road ahead, which includes continued dialysis and eventually needing kidney transplants. May God continue to surround her and her family in comfort and peace as Abigail begins her journey to what will hopefully be a long, fulfilling, happy life.
”She is every bit a miracle,” said Rep. Beutler. Indeed. (Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital)