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Featured Cherub: Morgan Nuchols

Featured Cherub: Morgan Nuchols

Featured cherub of the week is Morgan Nuchols.  Morgan is an adult CDH survivor and has overcome so much and continues to battle pulmonary hypertension.  She had this to say about her CDH experience:

“My name is Morgan Margaret Nuchols. I was born at 38 weeks, with parents thinking healthy baby girl, mom’s water started leaking July 23rd for 3 day’s, doctor nurses and parents where shocked and puzzled. X-ray showed that I had very severe left diaphragmatic hernia, with my stomach, spleen, left lobe of liver, small bowel and colon up in the chest cavity. Breathing tube was placed 6 minutes after my birth on July 26th, 1993. I was so critical that I was flown by helicopter from Torrance Hospital to Pasadena for ECMO. Was on ECMO for a week before my first CDH repair. Heart moved to right spot in body 8 weeks after operation and on the Ventilator. Lungs where scarred but would grow with time! October 14th, 1993, I went home for the first time.  At 5 weeks being home, I went back to hospital from a cold after recovering from that prep to get home again…. I stayed little longer since they found that first CDH repair didn’t hold, so second CDH repair was done December 16th, 1993. Day’s later, I contracted the RSV virus. After that continued having hard time with feeds and gaining weight. G-tube was placed January 1994, still did bottle feed during the day, while g-tube during the night. 7 months old, on 2/94 I had a stroke so was put on anti seizure med for first time.

As I got older toddler age, I showed some PH signs, I did the PH test as a baby. 3rd CDH repair on 5th birthday. Age 7 G-tube removed. March 2002, Pulmonary Hypertension showed more to heart. Started out with high fevers which caused seizures, and gained weight quickly. Went to each doctor, first went to head doctor wasn’t my head, stomach it wasn’t my stomach, went to lung doctor wasn’t my lungs, then went to heart doctor echo confirmed that PH pressures where up enough to go back on oxygen tank for school with an unknown date of coming off the oxygen tank. Did test, softball half a season, then hula, then piano on stage, stuck with girl scouts ( all of that was from first grade to 4th grade, during diagnosis again with Pulmonary Hypertension). Schools and Classmates learned each grade very basic of the tank being part of me. 2005-2006 beginning signs of Scoliosis, back brace for some time. Scoliosis was fixed with 2 rods 15 screws on St Patrick’s Day 2006. Months later on February 07, 8 centimeters of large bowel went up incarcerated through diaphragmatic hernia which was repaired 4th time by patch. Did good after that, but final repair but many intestinal issues. All of it resulted harm to liver and making Pulmonary Hypertension horrible, I was 13 years old. NG tube again for months as intestine areas got cut out and fixed, ileostomy was placed July 8, 2007, and taken down July 08. Another intestine repair 6/07. For about a year along, PICC placed April removed June 18th, central line placed 12/07 until July 2008. Central line was for TPN, PH meds, along with Nitric oxide and another added PH med with one I was already taking. Lab work regularly as liver health went back to normal.

All back on track health with CDH and PH July 2008, before starting up 9th grade. No issues besides 2 seizures at home during high school, final seizure was GOOD FRIDAY 2015. Continue to see head doctor yearly, and PH team every 3 months, just went out of pediatric PH team but they still follow my case with the adult PH doctor that learned my complex history. Never knew my PH number until recently which is still high enough but it can lower. Last year did trigger GERD again but now have it under control!”

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