Cayden’s Journey

Just 4 months before our son was born it was discovered through a routine ultrasound that something was wrong. We were referred to Ohio State Maternal Fetal Medicine where the doctor told us that our son had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH, which meant his diaphragm had not developed properly while in the womb. He told us that our son’s CDH was quite severe and that his stomach and liver were in his chest cavity which would prevent his lungs from developing properly. As long as the child was in the womb the mother was breathing for him and he was in no danger. However, the second he was born and attempted to breathe on his own he would not be able to. Cayden’s condition was so severe that they gave him a less than 20% chance of survival.

We spent the next four months preparing to give birth to a baby that had a very small chance of surviving. We chose the name Cayden as it appropriately meant “fighter.“ They induced labor on March 23, 2015 and Cayden was greeted in the world by a team of many people ready to take care of him. He was instantly hooked up to a ventilator and within an hour was ready to be transported to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

By the next morning Cayden had developed pulmonary hypertension and was not doing well. The decision was made to place him on ECMO in order to save his life. He spent 2 weeks on ECMO before being removed only to be put back on 2 days later. Finally on April 17 he was removed from ECMO and had his CDH repair surgery. His stomach and liver were moved back into place and a patch was put where his diaphragm should be.

On March 23, 2017, Cayden is turning 2 and is still at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the NICU. He has a trach and relies on a ventilator for breathing. He also has a Gastro-Jejunal (GJ) Tube that he relies on for all of his feeds. He has not eaten regular food, cannot crawl or talk, and is just learning to sit up on his own. He is very far behind developmentally and has a long way to go before he will hopefully be able to breathe on his own….but he is still here fighting. We could not be more proud of the strength and determination our son has shown in his two years of life.

Our son is alive thanks to the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. We have a wonderful team of nurses that care for him like he is their own son, NNP’s, and a tremendous team of doctors that have shown the dedication you could only pray for when you find out you will need them for your very sick child. There is no other place I would want Cayden to be for his fight against CDH.

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Just 4 months before our son was born it was discovered through a routine ultrasound that something was wrong. We were referred to Ohio State Maternal Fetal Medicine where the doctor told us that our son had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH, which meant his diaphragm had not developed properly while in the womb. He told us that our son’s CDH was quite severe and that his stomach and liver were in his chest cavity which would prevent his lungs from developing properly. As long as the child was in the womb the mother was breathing for him and he was in no danger. However, the second he was born and attempted to breathe on his own he would not be able to. Cayden’s condition was so severe that they gave him a less than 20% chance of survival.

We spent the next four months preparing to give birth to a baby that had a very small chance of surviving. We chose the name Cayden as it appropriately meant “fighter.“ They induced labor on March 23, 2015 and Cayden was greeted in the world by a team of many people ready to take care of him. He was instantly hooked up to a ventilator and within an hour was ready to be transported to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

By the next morning Cayden had developed pulmonary hypertension and was not doing well. The decision was made to place him on ECMO in order to save his life. He spent 2 weeks on ECMO before being removed only to be put back on 2 days later. Finally on April 17 he was removed from ECMO and had his CDH repair surgery. His stomach and liver were moved back into place and a patch was put where his diaphragm should be.

On March 23, 2017, Cayden is turning 2 and is still at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the NICU. He has a trach and relies on a ventilator for breathing. He also has a Gastro-Jejunal (GJ) Tube that he relies on for all of his feeds. He has not eaten regular food, cannot crawl or talk, and is just learning to sit up on his own. He is very far behind developmentally and has a long way to go before he will hopefully be able to breathe on his own….but he is still here fighting. We could not be more proud of the strength and determination our son has shown in his two years of life.

Our son is alive thanks to the staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. We have a wonderful team of nurses that care for him like he is their own son, NNP’s, and a tremendous team of doctors that have shown the dedication you could only pray for when you find out you will need them for your very sick child. There is no other place I would want Cayden to be for his fight against CDH.

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