Baby Overcomes Birth Defect

Kamryn Studdard given 50 percent chance to live before birth

A baby with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) was sent home Monday to lead a healthy, normal life after 48 days of treatment at Parkland Hospital.

CDH is an improperly formed diaphragm separating the lungs from other organs in the body. The lungs may not form properly with the condition and there may be other complications, as well.

Kamryn Studdard was given a 50 percent chance to survive when doctors diagnosed the defect 13 weeks into Stephanie Studdard’s pregnancy.

“We had a lot of time to prepare and worry,” the mother said.

 Kamryn’s twin sister, Brooke, was born healthy. She also has a 7-year-old sister who is perfectly healthy. But Kamryn and Brooke were born at Parkland Hospital on June 17 with a team of specialists waiting to care for the ailing infant.
“You don’t want to sugar coat it,” said Dr. Michael Zaretsky, a maternal fetal medicine specialist. “You have to state the facts -- what the family is up against.”
Also on the medical team from the beginning was Dr. Kashmin Savani, the chief of neo-natal medicine at Parkland.

“There are babies with CDH born at a lot of hospitals, but very few that have the level of resources required to monitor it," Savini said.
Surgery was performed in Kamryn’s case to correct the defect. Doctors worried during her first few weeks of care, but she is now expected to lead a normal life.
“We are ecstatic because Kamryn is eating by herself, and growing just like a weed, (it's) just phenomenal,” Savini said.
Kamryn's mother agreed.

“To get her home and be able to pick her up without any tubes or wires attached to her is going to be amazing,” she said as they left the hospital.
Kamryn’s father started a blog about the family’s traumatic situation and what he learned about the disorder. Savini helped edit medical information about CDH on the blog.
“There’s lots of information out there, it’s just in numerous places all over the Internet,” said Shawn Studdard. “We really believe that this outcome is so significantly influenced by the medical team.”

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