Thanks to a Facebook post by a friend of mine, I became aware of the plight of baby Katelyn Policastro of California. This beautiful little girl was born five weeks ago with a rare yet devastating lung disorder that, most of the time, is fatal. But in baby Katelyn's case, if she can receive a lung transplant, she could survive.
It's a miracle if a lung does become available that matches the baby, because the disease that Katelyn was born with, alveolar capillary dysplasia, or ACD, generally offers no hope for its tiny victims.
So what is ACD, and how can you protect your baby?
Unfortunately, so little research has been done about this disorder that there isn't much information at this time. Which is why families of babies who lost their lives to this disorder started the ACD Association. To bring awareness and hopefully increase the research funds for this fatal disorder.
The cause of ACD is unknown, and at this point, the disorder cannot be identified when the baby is still in the womb. When the baby is born, he'll show signs of hypoxemia (decreased pressure of oxygen in the blood) and idiopathic pulmonary hypertension (when the heart can't pump enough blood to the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath, dizziness, etc.). The difference between a baby with respiratory problems of another nature is that an ACD baby does not respond to treatment given in the NICU. What they do know is that no babies have survived when diagnosed, and the longest a baby lived with ACD was nine months.
Which is why it's so important to try and help Katelyn, since she's the first case that could be helped by a lung transplant. So, please, spread the word and spread awareness. Someone's tragedy could save a baby's life. If Katelyn can be saved, there's hope for future babies with ACD as well.
Had you heard of ACD before today?