CDH International’s featured volunteer of the week is Tennessee State Representative Sarah Tanner. Sarah is the mom to CDH survivor Austin.
Sarah Tanner is the mother of three children, Drew (2015) Everly (2018) and Austin (2020). After multiple failed rounds of fertility treatments, in October of 2019 she decided she was going to give up only to find out she was pregnant with Austin on her 31st birthday. At their first ultrasound appointment they were told there was no heartbeat and she had some internal bleeding. They called the pregnancy “nonviable” but she requested to give it one more week. Sure enough, a week later there was a healthy heart beat. Everything progressed as normal till their twenty week ultrasound when they were diagnosed with severe right CDH and told they should terminate. Within 6 weeks of the diagnosis they sold their house, packed herself and their two children up and relocated from Michigan to Florida for care. Austin was born at John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg FL on June 2nd 2020. He had 75% liver up plus intestines and only had about 7% of his diaphragm on the right side. He went on ECMO within the first hour of life and had a successful repair surgery the following day. He spent 30 days on ECMO and a total of 90 days in the CDH Unit.
Sarah now resides in Murfreesboro TN, just outside of Nashville with her husband Drew and their three children. She is a stay at home mom who loves arts and crafts, reading and is a plantaholic. She finds gardening and working with house plants to be relaxing and a stress relief for both her and her autistic son. She loves to talk with others and share their CDH journey to help bring awareness to a diagnosis they knew nothing about before it happened to them.