Jessica Cummings on This Week’s CDH Radio Show

Jessica Cummings joins us this week on the CDH Radio Show as she shares her son’s journey after he was diagnosed with CDH.

Tune in to at 6:00pm EST, March 1, 2022, to–jessica-cummings.

Listen to archives of the radio show at

Nathaniel was diagnosed with CDH in 2011 at his 18-week ultrasound because his stomach was next to his heart. After researching CDH on their own, Jessica and Chris found CHERUBS. They were the only CDH charity to return emails/ chats/ calls/ etc. Jessica and Chris traveled to both Brown University and UCSF for fetal tracheal occlusion surgery. Jessica and Nathaniel were accepted at both hospitals and chose Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

At 24 weeks Jessica moved into the Ronald McDonald house and prepared for the surgery. At the ultrasound the day before, it was determined that Nathaniel was no longer a candidate for the surgery because his lung to head ratio had gone up to 1.0 (it was 0.2 at the 18-week appointment). Nathaniel was born at 39 weeks at Magee Women’s Hospital and was immediately transferred to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where he went directly on ECMO.

Nathaniel had left sided CDH with his stomach, liver, spleen, and most of is intestines in his chest. He was on ECMO for 23 days and was never able to have his repair surgery. Nathaniel passed away at 24 days old at Children’s Hospital. Nathaniel’s big brother Dominick is 12, and Nathaniel has a little sister Lydia who is 8 and a baby brother Clayton who is 4. Jessica and Chris have been married since 2005 and live North of Pittsburgh. Jessica is a research technician in a Critical Care Medicine lab at Children’s Hospital researching sepsis and Chris is an electrician/repairman for the steel mill Allegheny Ludlum. 

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