Join us this week as adult CDH Survivor, Rachel Bercovitch, shares her journey on the CDH Radio Show.
Tune in at 6:00 pm EST, November 9, 2021 to https://www.blogtalkradio.com/cdh/2021/11/09/november-9-2021-guest-rachel-bercovitch.
Listen to archives of the radio show at http://www.cdhradio.org.
Rachel Bercovitch is an adult CDH survivor and she continues to be driven to help others affected by CDH through research. She is a Graduate Student Researcher for the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program at The Hospital for Sick Children. “While the research I conduct is already very personal to me based on my experience as a CDH patient, hearing others’ stories – whether successful or unfortunate – make my research efforts even more personal. I feel so deeply for the families that have endured the stress and heartache associated with diagnosis, surgery, and looming uncertainty; my mother frequently recounts these emotional times that she experienced during my CDH “journey”. With this being said, those families and patients are always in my mind and heart when I do my research; every task is intentional, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes and minimizing grief,” Rachel shares with us.
Rachel’s mom shared with CDHi, “Rachel was diagnosed with left-sided CDH at 40+ weeks. When the doctor first told me the diagnosis, I had to ask him to repeat and write down the name of CDH. My first reaction was, “Congenital Dia-what?”. Rachel’s due date was originally February 14, 2000. In an ultrasound that was conducted on February 18, 2000 to determine if she was ready to be delivered, the anomaly was revealed and confirmed in a secondary ultrasound on the same day. She was delivered by c-section on February 19, 2000.”
“Before Rachel’s surgery was performed, it was a very emotional and stressful time. When she was born, it was unclear whether she would be stable enough to undergo surgery at all. Fortunately, she was, and the surgery was performed on February 21, 2000. It was very successful as there was sufficient diaphragm tissue to make the repair without the use of foreign materials. The staff in the NICU was incredibly attentive at HSC, and the surgical team offered time to discuss the procedure and prognosis. Several days post operation, breastfeeding (while well connected to multiple monitors/feeding tube) was successful. I never took pictures of Rachel while in the NICU, as seeing her with a feeding tube was so difficult; I waited until she was finally ready to go home, and began to capture the healthy and happy moments,” Rachel’s mom shares.
Rachel has been home and healthy for 21 years! She has come full circle and giving back to help CDH patients through CDH Research in Dr. Zani’s lab at Sick Kids. Tune in to the CDH radio show and learn more from Rachel what it was like growing up with CDH.