Doctors believe baby Abigail Beutler, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler and her husband, Dan, may be the first baby ever to survive Potter’s Syndrome, a prenatal condition affecting the development of a baby’s lungs.
The Republican congresswoman from Washington was five months pregnant when she found out that her baby had no kidneys, and therefore was producing no fetal urine. Doctors say that leads to little-or-no amniotic fluid, which ultimately prevents the lungs from developing.
Refusing to give up on their daughter, the Beutlers found a doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Md. who was willing to try an experimental treatment that could potentially save Abigail’s life.
The doctor injected multiple doses of a saline solution into the congresswoman’s abdomen to try to create enough fluid for the lungs to develop. The couple then waited to see if the treatment would work – and miraculously, Abigail was born on July 15th.
“When she came out and everybody was quiet, I think … a lot of these medical professionals were prepared for the worst. And she looked at us, and she cried, which means her lungs were functioning,” said Congresswoman Herrera-Beutler. “I think that cry kind of startled everybody in the room.”
Doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California, where Abigail is currently being treated, say her weight has doubled since she was born, and she has “excellent lung function.”
According to Dr. Steven Alexander, a pediatric kidney specialist at Lucile Packard, Abigail will be on dialysis until she can get a kidney transplant in about a year or so, but he is confident about her prognosis.
“The kidney transplant success rate now is so good that we would predict a full adult life for her,” Alexander said.
Please continue to keep this family – especially baby Abigail Rose – in your thoughts and prayers. Not only could the experimental treatment used on her prove ultimately successful in her case, but it could potentially be life-saving for other unborn children in the future as well. May God continue to bless her!
”She is every bit a miracle,” said Rep. Herrera-Beutler at Abigail Rose’s birth. Indeed. (Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital)