When she was pregnant with her daughter Abigail Rose Beutler, doctors told Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, a pro-life Republican from Washington state, that her baby had a potentially fatal diagnosis that would claim her life shortly after birth.
Beutler posted a message on Facebook last June saying her unborn child had been diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome, a condition which prevents the child’s kidneys from developing properly and is typically fatal for the baby.
In Potter’s syndrome, the unborn baby has an atypical physical appearance as the result of oligohydramnios, a decrease in amniotic fluid volume that causes developmental problems and babies with Potter’s Syndrome typically die within a couple days of being born.
Then, in July, Beutler said Abigail was doing well two weeks following her birth.
Now, in a new interview with People magazine, the congresswoman gave another update about her little girl. (See Video Below)
The doctors said, “It’s 100 per cent fatal. She will either be stillborn, you’ll miscarry, or she will suffocate in your arms after she’s born,”‘ Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler told People magazine.
Her daughter, Abigail, is now nine months old and healthy and crying like other children her age- but the difference in her case is that there was a large chance she was going to be born without lungs.
Abigail is one of the 1 in 3,000 children who is afflicted with Potter sequence, wherein the fetus does not have kidneys or lungs.
Even though doctors said she would never survive, Mrs Beutler and her husband made the decision not to have an abortion.
‘As the doctor is saying these things, I could feel her moving. To me, that was a sign I was not going to be the one that ends this pregnancy,’ the 35-year-old new mom told People.
‘The difference between 0 per cent hope and 0.00001 per cent hope is enormous,’ Dan Beutler said to the magazine.
Abigail, who was born weighing only 2lbs 12oz stayed in intensive care for the first five months of her life before being deemed healthy enough to go home.
‘She’s playing. She will scream when her diaper is dirty. She is like any other baby. She has a few challenges, but man, she’s determined,’ Mrs Beutler said during a Today Show interview less than two months after the baby was born.
The saline injection helped produce lungs for the newborn but she is not fully out of the woods as she still does not have kidneys.
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She is being treated with dialysis and will need a transplant but that is expected to come from her father Dan, who is a possible match.