Chris and Tracy Meats on This Week’s Radio Show

Join us this week as Chris and Tracy Meats share their son’s journey after he was diagnosed with CDH shortly after birth.

Tune in to at 6:00 pm EST, January 18, 2022, to–chris-and-tracy-meats-parents-of-cdh-survivor-ian

Listen to archives of the radio show at

Ian was diagnosed shortly after birth with a left sided Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Tracy shares, “the pregnancy was normal, there was nothing of concern except for measuring 4 weeks ahead of my gestation age. My water broke at 36 weeks and an emergency c-section was needed due to him being in respiratory distress. When he arrived, he was purplish/blue in color and not a single sound was heard from him, nor was he moving. Doctors and nurses rushed him to the nursery and proceeded to try and get him to cry and breathe.  An x-ray ultimately determined he had CDH and he would need to be life flighted 3 hours from home for NICU care.”

Within the first day of life, Ian’s organs and body were shutting down. Due to his rough birth, how he was handled at the local hospital and his transfer, doctors had medically done everything they could for him. The Meats family were told he had a 5% chance of making it through the night without ECMO. ECMO ultimately gave his heart and lungs time to rest and get stronger. On day 5 of life, Ian underwent his CDH repair in the NICU on ECMO. Two days later he successfully was taken off of ECMO and began his healing and recovery.

Ian spent 53 1/2 days in the NICU and 546 days needing supplemental oxygen due to pulmonary hypertension and his small lungs. He came home with a NG tube for feeds and faced many delays physically and mentally the first 4 years of his life. Ian has lasting exercise induced asthma and heart issues that are watched closely by specialists.

Ian turns 18 this April and is graduating from high school in May. He is not sure of his future, but thinks he wants to pursue graphic design or something with music. Tracy shares, “we know the day we walked out of that hospital; we were blessed with a miracle. Our work with CDHi over the years has blessed our lives. So many children have left footprints on our hearts, and we want to give back in their honor/memory and make a difference. CDH doesn’t end with us, but I know together we can make a difference. Ian forever changed our lives, and we couldn’t imagine life without him. He fought from his first breath and continues to fight and to us, he is our hero.”  

If you would like to share your CDH journey, visit

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