Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Denise Haas)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

My name is Denise. My daughter Aimee just turned sixteen years old this past April. The day after Mother's Day this year, she started to complain of severe abdominal pain. We took her to the doctors, who became suspicious when they heard no bowel sounds and didn't hear her breathing on the left side.

They ran many tests that night, the most important a chest x-ray, where they could see only about 30% of her left lung. They ordered a CT Scan and that's when they saw that her large and small intestines, her bowels, and her spleen were in her left chest cavity under her lung.

The following morning a surgeon, Dr. Katlic, looked over her tests and rushed her into surgery. He was worried about blood supply being cut off to her organs. After two hours in surgery, Dr. Katlic came out and said she had done wonderfully. He made only one incision from her diaphragm bone to her belly button. He said all her organs were fine and were back in her abdomen. He did say there was barely enough room in there for them to fit. Until this point we had been under the impression that this was caused by a trauma, but we didn't have a trauma. During surgery, Dr Katlic found out differently. Since her left lung never fully matured, he is certain that she was born this way.

She spent two and a half days in ICU, with wonderful care and another seven days in the hospital. She had a very hard time eating and drinking and lost 12 lbs. But she has been home now two weeks and is doing great-- eating, walking around, feeling fine. She had a chest x-ray two days ago. It looks as though her left lung has expanded a little more. Everyone seemed so amazed by her surgery, her recovery and we didn't know why until I read your site. I am so amazed that she lived this way for 16 years. I had never heard of CDH until a few weeks ago, and I can't believe how much worse this could have been.

Aimee's mom, Denise Haas (Pennsylvania)

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