New hernia treatment gives newborn a miracle - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New hernia treatment gives newborn a miracle

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(03/20/14) - Two-year-old Lincoln Olds is happy and active today, his mother, Dorothy reports, "he's just a really fun kid. He likes to make people laugh."  

But long before Lincoln was born, Diana says, an ultrasound revealed a devastating diagnosis, "we just wanted to know if we were having a boy or a girl, that's what we went to find out, and they told us that our child might not survive."

Lincoln had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which is essentially a hole that formed in his diaphragm.  

"The intestines as a result of that go up into the chest, and they grow within the chest and actually prevent the lung from developing normally. If they make it to delivery, and they're alive, the survival rate is still about 60 percent," says Dr. Brad Warner, of St. Louis Children's Hospital.  

Lincoln was placed on a life support machine known as ECMO to give his body a chance to rest and oxygenate. At first, he didn't respond. But after 12 days, Lincoln was breathing better. He then had surgery to reposition his organs and repair his hernia. After 83 days in the hospital, Lincoln went home.

Dorothy says her son's doctors expect him to live a normal life and be a normal kid, "He's a wonderful child. It's really amazing."

Children with these types of hernias sometimes develop heart failure, scoliosis, hearing difficulties and developmental delays.   

Congenital Diaphragmatic hernia are actually pretty common, happening in one in every 2,000 births.

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