Usually, I hate stories about sick babies. I can't even read those fundraising letters from the March of Dimes; they make me want to cry. But the story of a little girl who was just born with no kidneys is one of the most inspiring I've ever heard that I just had to share it. She's the first ever baby to survive with no kidneys!
How awesome is that?
Heck, doctors say Washington State Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's new baby girl was saved by her premature birth. How often do you hear that?
Obviously it would be more awesome if Beutler had an uncomplicated pregnancy and an unremarkable birth.
But life rarely works out as we plan. And the Beutlers' story is so remarkable that it's one to remember every time things go a little haywire.
Hope is our best asset in a fight against adversity. Hope is the point of those March of Dimes pamphlets I can't bring myself to read.
Hope is what every new baby represents, but especially a kid like Abigail Beutler. Because our kids are coming into a world where amazing things can happen, like a baby being born with no kidneys and surviving -- for the first time ever.
Abigail was born at Johns Hopkins at 28 weeks after her mother found out her child had Potter's Syndrome, an often lethal complication that means a fetus has very little to no amniotic fluid, causing them to be compressed in the womb. Her mom had several procedures during pregnancy where doctors inserted saline into the womb to act as amniotic fluid. Then they delivered her early -- very, very early.
That enabled doctors at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in California to start dialysis (basically letting machines do what the kidneys usually do). They expect that will keep the little girl alive until she's big enough for a kidney transplant.
And so darn full of hope that she should give all of us out here hope for a better tomorrow for our kids. If medicine can help a baby with no kidneys live, what else can it do?
Are you inspired by Abigail's story?
Image via Lucile Packard Children's Hospital