The daughter of a Washington state Congresswoman continues to defy doctors’ predictions and thrive as the only known surviving child with Potter’s syndrome.
Abigail, the daughter of Republican U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, recently received a new kidney, thanks to her loving father, according to The Hill. The toddler and her father, Dan, had the transplant operation in February, and both are doing well.
In 2013, Herrera Beutler faced troubling news when doctors diagnosed her unborn daughter with Potter’s Syndrome, a typically fatal condition that prevents the child’s kidneys from developing properly. Though no medical treatments were available, the family refused doctors’ suggestions to abort Abigail, LifeNews reported.
The family found a glimmer of hope with Dr. Jessica Bienstock, a perinatologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital who was willing to try an unconventional procedure to try and save Abigail’s life. The procedure was successful, and Abigail was born in July 2013, LifeNews previously reported. Abigail made it home from the hospital in time for Christmas that year.
Since then, Abigail has been on dialysis, waiting until she grew big enough for a kidney transplant. Both her father and mother were matches for Abigail, but Dan insisted on being the donor for their “miracle baby,” People magazine reported. Jamie also deferred to Dan because she is pregnant with the couple’s second child, a boy who is due in May, according to the report.
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“I wanted to help,” Dan told the magazine. “I wanted to do everything I could to make her life better.”
Both daddy and daughter are doing wonderfully two months after the operation, and Abigail is full of energy, the Congresswoman said.
“In fact, I feel like Abigail has more energy than ever! And I never thought that was possible, but she surprises us everyday,” Herrera Beutler said. “We did have to go snatch her from death. I know we’re really blessed because the right things fell into place for us, and now other children get to benefit.”
Dan and Jaime said they want to share Abigail’s story to give other parents hope when their children are diagnosed with fatal disorders like Potter’s Syndrome.
“Our big thing was this [treatment] should be part of the conversation,” Jaime told the magazine. “We just feel like no parent should be told what we were told. Parents will do anything in a situation like this and we certainly don’t want to mislead that this is a panacea but they should be told that this could be an option.”