- Posted February 13, 2013 by
Bryson's Battle with CDH
On March 22, 2012, Felecia and Jason Woodruff were very excited to found out the sex of their second child during the 20 week antinomy scan at Riddle Memorial Hospital. While hoping for a baby boy, since they already have a 2 year old daughter named Hayden, they never expected to hear of the devastating news about their unborn child. As the ultrasound technincan announced the sex, "it's a boy", they were both happy but noticed that the technincan was focusing a lot on the baby's chest. The technician said she wanted to move them to a different room because that room had a newer ultrasound machine so she can get a clearer picture. After they moved into the new room the doctor came in and gave them the news that their baby has a life-threatening birth defect known as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and suggested that they call The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (C.H.O.P.) right away to set up an appointment. Both overwhelmed by the news, they surfed the web for information about the birth defect and scheduled an appointment at C.H.O.P.
Two weeks later, on April 4, 2012, Felecia and Jason met with doctors at C.H.O.P. After having extensive testing including a high-definiton level II ultrasound, an ultrafast fetal MRI, a fetal chromosome study, and a fetal echocardiogram, they sat down with Dr. Mark Johnson and Dr. Holly Hedrick to review the test results. Dr. Johnson confirmed that their baby boy has Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and gave him an 80% chance survival rate. He explained that their baby's diaphragm, during the gestational stage of pregnancy, failed to fully form resulting in a hole in the diaphragm allowing part of the liver, stomach, bowels and intestines to move up into the left lung. This prevents the lungs from growing and developing normally, which can cause reduced blood flow to the lungs and pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the pulmonary circulation). The doctors informed Felecia and Jason that once he was born and stable he would receive surgery to move the organs into the correct locations and patch the hole in the diaphragm to prevent the organs from re-herniation.
After a closely monitored pregnancy, on July 30, 2012, Bryson William Woodruff, was born by emergency c-section due to the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. As soon as baby Bryson was born, he was immediately taken to the neonatal team awaiting for his arrival in the next room. After over an hour of waiting, doctors brought Bryson to meet his parents for the first time. The doctor explained to them that Bryson's right lung was punctured right after delivery and they had to perform emergency surgery to open the lung. After only minutes of meeting, Bryson is rushed down to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where the staff tries to stabilize him. Jason leaves with Bryson while Felecia stays in the special delivery unit (SDU) in recovery. The doctors tell Jason that Bryson's carbon dioxide (CO2) levels were extremely high and that they are doing everything possible to stabilize him but things are not looking good. Jason rushes back to give Felecia the bad news. An hour or so later, one of the doctors explain that Bryson's CO2 levels are improving and that he is a candidate for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). (ECMO is a cardiac and respiratory support oxygen to patients whose heart and lungs are so severely diseased or damaged that they can no longer serve their function. Initial cannulation of a patient receiving ECMO is performed by a surgeon and maintenance of the patient is the responsibility of the ECMO Specialist and gives 24/7 monitoring care for the duration of the ECMO treatment.) Bryson was finally stabilized on ECMO for a long 21 days. On August 20, 2012, doctors said that Bryson is ready to be removed off of ECMO. Once he was removed the ECMO machine, Bryson's CO2 levels raised again into dangerous stage. Doctors then put Bryson onto a high frequency oscillatory ventilator. The doctors told them that if his levels did not start improving as soon as possible his organs will start shutting down. With little hope left Bryson was bapitised. A few hours later, Bryson's CO2 levels were improving and was finally stabilizing.
On August 26, 2012, he was switched from the oscillator ventilator to the conventional ventilator and, on August 31, 2012, he was finally ready for his CDH surgery repair. After 5 long weeks of waiting, Felecia finally was able to hold him for the first time. On September 19, 2012, Bryson was removed from the conventional ventilator and onto the CPAP for 4 days and then onto the nasal cannula for 17 days. Bryson is now home with his family after spending 90 days in the NICU. For updates on Bryson's progress visit https://www.facebook.com/brysonsbattleprayerpage.
For more information about Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia visit http://www.cherubs-cdh.org.
CDH occurs when the diaphragm fails to fully form, allowing abdominal organs into the chest cavity and preventing lung growth. CDH occurs in 1 of every 2500 births; somewhere in the world, a baby is born with CDH every 10 minutes. 50% of babies diagnosed with CDH do not survive. The cause is not known. Over a half million babies have been born with CDH since 2000.
CDH is as common as Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis but there is very little awareness and even less research. 1600 babies are born with CDH every year in the United States. Globally, a baby is born with CDH every 10 minutes.
The Woodruff family is helping spread CDH awareness. April 19th is International Day of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness and will be proudly attending the Parade of CHERUBS at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Visit http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/brysonsbattle/cdhawarenessday2013 if you would like to donate in honor of TEAM BRYSON!