|Abigail Rose Beutler with her parents (via Congresswoman Beutler Facebook page)|
Through the outreach of a parent who had faced a similar situation, we found a group of courageous and hopeful doctors at Johns Hopkins who were willing to try a simple, but unproven treatment by amnioinfusion. Every week for five weeks, doctors injected saline into the womb to give Abigail's lungs a chance to develop. With each infusion we watched via ultrasound as Abigail responded to the fluid by moving, swallowing and “practice breathing.” The initial lack of fluid in the womb caused pressure on her head and chest, but over the course of the treatment we were able to watch them reform to their proper size and shape. Her feet, which were clubbed in early ultrasounds, straightened. There was no way to know if this treatment would be effective or to track lung development, but with hearts full of hope, we put our trust in the Lord and continued to pray for a miracle.
A day after the fifth infusion, Jaime went in to pre-term labor. After four days of trying to prevent pre-term delivery, Abigail prevailed and arrived. The doctors and nurses were prepared for the worst - but immediately after she was born, she drew a breath and cried! After a few minutes, it was clear that her lungs were very well developed for a baby born so early. The infusions had stopped the Potter’s Sequence.