Mum told baby girl has 50% chance of death after her tummy was found in her CHEST

I placed the lovely Kathryn's story in Real People magazine, about how she discovered her baby had CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) meaning her lungs wouldn't develop properly. Read her story to learn about Kathryn's worrying pregnancy and how her daughter had to have surgery at just four days old. Do you have a story about a baby who survived against the odds? #miraclebaby #CDH #raisingawareness #sellmystory


‘From the moment I found out I was pregnant I felt there was a black cloud hanging over me. Then at my 20-week scan, another doctor was called in and she told my husband and I that our baby’s stomach was in her chest, indicating there was a hole in her diaphragm. It sounded horrific and that day, my husband and I sat in silence, tears streaming, holding one another.

After a scan at a specialist hospital, it was confirmed our baby had a left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). We then had the most difficult conversation ever, as to whether or not we wanted to continue the pregnancy. Our baby was given a 50% chance of survival - and we decided to give her that chance.

As soon as we found out we were having a girl, it was bittersweet. We had a son already and I’d always wanted a girl. So knowing she might not survive was heartbreaking. We named her Rebecca. Through friends, a local church found out about our story and they gave me a piece of material known as a healing cloth. I placed it over my stomach every night.

When I gave birth, Rebecca let out two cries, which felt amazing knowing she was trying to breath for herself but terrified us because we knew she wasn’t supposed to. I made sure she had her healing cloth with her before she was taken to the neonatal unit. At three days old she had surgery to repair the hernia, to stop her abdominal organs moving into her chest area and squashing the lungs, which thankfully was successful.

It was successful but days later, I couldn’t find her healing cloth anywhere. I was devastated and scared for Rebecca. Then I realised that the cloth was lost for a reason – because she no longer needed it and there were other babies on the ward who were unwell that needed it more.

Three weeks later, Rebecca was allowed home and straightaway formed a bond with her brother Harry, who gave her kisses and cuddles – and still does. Now Rebecca is six months and is doing well, despite some feeding issues. She has regular check-ups to make sure she doesn’t re-herniate and in between, she adores spending time with Harry, who she idolises, even when he is tormenting her!

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Media Agency based in London, UK.