Featured cherub of the week is CDH survivor Sunny McKinnon. Her family had this to share about her:
“Our story began as they all seem to: arrived for a routine ultrasound and left with…weird news. I was just shy of 28 weeks, driving home by myself with a diagram of “what a normal baby looks like” vs “what our baby looks like” (mild LCDH with intestines, spleen, half kidney up – and an abdominal cyst). My husband and I dealt with the diagnosis very differently – I stayed home, burying my brain in research and support groups, while he went out with friends and kept his mind occupied.
Sunny was born at the end of August – I was induced at 39+1 and, to my surprise, the RT put her on my chest for a moment. Apparently, her APGAR scores were very good and he wasn’t worried about rushing her to be intubated, as I had prepared myself for. But once she had settled in the PICU at the Hospital for Sick Children across the street, we learned her left ventricle wasn’t squeezing the way it should. The next 48 hours were filled with dread, as we waited to see how she responded to medication. Luckily, she did well and stabilized for surgery a week later.
She spent 4.5 hours in the OR: CDH repaired and reinforced with a collagen patch, duplication cyst removed, and a surprise lung sequestration also removed! The surgeon described it as a “potpourri”. She was extubated the following day and on room air almost immediately. We were sent home at 4 weeks with our myriad list of follow-ups.
Unfortunately, we had to go back to the hospital the next day – it seemed as though she had a partial bowel obstruction. Luckily, it cleared itself and we were discharged 3 days later.
Sunny is now 3 months old. Every morning, big sister Leela snuggles her in the living room and makes Sunny giggle. We are mostly isolated this winter, so that Sunny’s lung has a chance to develop. She is thriving, gaining and hitting all of the milestones. We are so fortunate – and we are giving back by selling her outgrown baby stuff and donating the money to CDH research and the hospital that saved her.”