Congresswoman’s Miracle Baby Home for Christmas After Doctors Said She’d Die

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 11, 2013   |   5:26PM   |   Washington, DC

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 in 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 and she continued to progress in September.

Now, little Abby is heading home for Christmas!

After spending months under the supervision of doctors in California, U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s infant daughter got to come home to Camas this week.

Herrera Beutler shared the good news in an statement Wednesday. She also announced she would travel to Washington, D.C., this week to vote on a federal budget deal.

“We are so grateful to the medical team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in California for their care of Abigail during her first months of life,” Herrera Beutler said. She also asked for “continued patience and prayers in the coming weeks as our family adjusts to life back home.”

Surprising the medical field, Abigail was born prematurely in July with fully developed lungs. Her kidneys weren’t functioning, though, and she was whisked off to the California hospital for dialysis treatments. She will eventually need a kidney transplant.



The Republican congresswoman has been on leave since her daughter’s birth. She has traveled to Washington, D.C., to take a few crucial votes, including one in October to end the partial government shutdown. She also relies more heavily on her staff to communicate with 3rd District constituents.

“My staff and I will continue serving the residents of Southwest Washington just as we have throughout this challenging time,” Herrera Beutler said. “Like the millions of working mothers in this country, I will balance the responsibilities of my job with the needs of my family.”