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Featured Cherub: Kalianna Root


Featured Cherub: Kalianna Root

Today’s featured cherub is Kalianna Root. Kalianna is the daughter of Sarah Polich. Sarah had this to share about Kalianna:

“The first time I heard of CDH was at my 19 week ultrasound appointment. I was going to hopefully find out the sex of the baby that day. Instead, things took a different turn. As the sonographer is making small talk and looking at the screen at the baby she very quietly said: “I am going to grab the Dr. and get a second opinion.” As the Dr. took a look he said he saw the same thing. He talked back and forth with the sonographer and he said he would like me to see a specialist for a second opinion. At that appointment, they confirmed I was having a little girl. I was so confused and overwhelmed walking out of the office that day. I had 2 boys at home ages 3 and 13. All I knew for sure is that I was meeting with a specialist the following week and my little girl may have a birth defect. I was feeling a whirlwind of emotions.

The following week the specialist confirmed my sweet baby girl had a birth defect, congenital diaphragmatic hernia. The way he explained it is that her diaphragm had not completely formed and her stomach organs can go into her chest preventing her lungs to have room to grow. At this time I am now 20 weeks along. The Dr. tells me this child may not survive and if she does there is a very good chance she will never live a “normal” life. He said she could be on oxygen, have learning disabilities, a cleft palate or worse. He said the quality of her life and ours as a family may be extremely challenging.   His solution…terminate the pregnancy. I was shocked. He was not even going to try to save my child? His answer was to abort her? After I explained that was not an option he said please go home and think about it and I will call you in a couple days. He did call the following day to see if I had made my decision. I had. I was keeping this child and firing him as my Dr. Moving forward, I was so overwhelmed and confused. Turning to Google to educate me on what CDH was and how this will impact our lives. Long story short…I did find a wonderful specialist and surgeon which I am forever grateful. Four days before my daughter was born I received steroid shots to help her lungs prepare for delivery and mature for birth. My daughter was induced at 38 weeks.

When my daughter was born she could not breathe on her own. I did not have the chance to hold her and I barely caught a glimpse of her. The weeks following her birth were very touch and go.  She did have surgery at 4 days old to repair her diaphragm. She did reherniate at 18 months old and had laparoscopic surgery to repair her diaphragm. She is now 7 years old and doing very well. Once a year she gets an x-ray or CT scan to make sure the diaphragm is holding up.”

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