Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler, a Republican congresswoman from Washington, gave birth nearly eight weeks ago to Abigail, a miracle baby whom doctors think might be the first ever to survive Potter’s Syndrome.
Potter’s Syndrome is a fetal condition that affects the baby’s development of lungs. When a fetus has no kidneys, there is no fetal urine produced, which leads to little or no amniotic fluid being built up, which then prevents lungs from developing.
Herrera-Beutler tells Fox News it was a heartbreaking diagnosis.
“We’re totally broken, we’re sobbing, we’re asking, ‘What can
be done? Is there anything that can be done?’ And she’s moving inside
of me, and the doctor is saying, ‘No, there is no option. This is
But the Beutlers found a doctor at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Maryland who tried an experimental procedure wherein he injected multiple doses of saline solution into her abdomen, in the hopes that it would create enough fluid for the baby’s lungs to develop.
Abigail was born July 15 — she’ll be eight weeks old on Monday, Sept. 9.
“When she came out and everybody was quiet, I think … a lot of these
medical professionals were prepared for the worst. And she looked at us,
and she cried, which means her lungs were functioning. I think that cry kind of startled
everybody in the room,” says Herrera-Beutler.
According to pediatric kidney specialist Dr. Steven Alexander, Abigail will be on dialysis until she can receive a kidney transplant in about a year.
“The kidney transplant success rate now is so good that we would predict a full adult life for her,” says Dr. Alexander.
The Beutlers want other expectant parents to know that there is still hope after a diagnosis of Potter’s Syndrome.