By Mike Baker Associated Press
OLYMPIA — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s first child has survived two weeks after birth despite a pregnancy problem that is usually fatal, and a doctor said Monday that the medical team is cautiously optimistic about the girl’s future.
Abigail Rose Beutler was born prematurely on July 15, weighing 2 pounds, 12 ounces, Herrera Beutler announced Monday. Doctors had diagnosed a serious problem during the pregnancy called Potter Syndrome, in which impaired kidney function leads to low amniotic fluid. It is typically fatal because it prevents the fetus’s lungs from developing.
Abigail has no kidneys and had no amniotic fluid in the womb. During the pregnancy, doctors injected saline solution into the womb in the place of amniotic fluid.
At birth, Abigail had fully developed lungs and she is breathing on her own, suggesting that the relatively uncommon treatment had worked, according to a statement from Herrera Beutler . Abigail still requires ongoing dialysis and will eventually need a kidney transplant.
Herrera Beutler and her husband said they were thankful for the doctors and nurses who were not willing to accept the fatal diagnosis.
“We are grateful to the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for hearing those prayers,” Herrera Beutler and her husband said in a joint statement.
Dr. Louis Halamek, a neonatologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., said they are cautiously optimistic about the future of the baby, born after a 28-week pregnancy.
“Despite Abigail’s prematurity, small size and life-threatening disease, she is doing well,” Halamek said.
Herrera Beutler, 34, is a Republican in her second term in Congress, representing the 3rd District covering the southwest portion of Washington state.