Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Phil Carter)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

My name is Phil Carter. This my recollection of having a miracle baby, Casey Carter, born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) 28 years ago.  I was a 38 year old newlywed of about 18 months or so when I found out that I was to be a father.  My wife, Lisa, had an 11 year old son, Joe, from a previous marriage so I was in no hurry to have additional children as we were just getting into being a blended family.  So I never really thought I’d have a natural child of my own. (Miracle 1)

Lisa had some issues during the pregnancy that required 5 sonograms, all of which were described to us as normal, that let us know that we were having a baby girl.   Our doctor recommended a C-Section, so being frugal, I asked if we could have it early so as to get into the current year for tax purposes.  He agreed if “we” would have an amniocentesis, to which I agreed. This turned out to be fortunate as the C-Section was not as stressful on the baby at birth as natural child birth. (Miracle 2) The C-Section went as normal as they are and we delivered a 6 pound baby girl in Carrollton, TX.  There was some activity in the delivery room and the nurses took our baby away pretty fast.  Things happened very fast after that.  The doctor told me our baby was very sick and was being transferred to Children's Hospital and he had contacted our pediatrician who for some reason was in the building next to the hospital. (Miracle 3)

Our pediatrician rode in the ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Dallas.  I had a friend drive me to Children’s and upon my arrival I met my daughter’s surgeon who diagnosed her with CDH.  To my amazement he told me that he and his 2 partners were some of the only doctors in the DFW area that performed the type of surgery that our daughter needed.  He just happened to be on call.  (Miracle 4)

The surgery went as good as it could.  After the surgery the doctor to me that she only had a 5% chance of survival as there was no ECMO machine in the Dallas Fort Worth area.  He told me that most infants who are treated for congenital diaphragmatic hernia will require ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) in order to survive.  He said that if she needed the ECMO there was not much hope as it would take too long to get the nearest one (San Antonio) to the hospital.  She survived the night, odds went up to 10%. (Miracle 5)

Over the next week I ran back and forth from Dallas Children’s to Carrollton Hebron hospital relaying information to my wife and marveling over our trooper of a baby in the NICU.  Every day the odds of survival went up.  One of our neighbors happened to be in electronics and had a Betamax Video, which was new in 1986.  He came in and made videos of our baby and took them and a portable TV to the hospital so my wife who was 15 miles away could see her new daughter.  (Miracle 6)

After 11 days, which seemed like months, our daughter was released from Children’s and we brought her home and now 28 years later after getting her BA and moving into her own house we still have a MIRACLE BABY.......Ok, so she is an adult but to me she will always be my “baby”.

Phil Carter

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