When Emily McGuyre first discovered that she was pregnant, she was thrilled. She greatly looked forward to bringing her son, Matthew, into her family. But, shares The Hawkeye, Emily learned something when she was 20 weeks pregnant that would change the course of her life. Her son was going to be born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a birth defect affecting the diaphragm.
Four months after receiving this news, in January 2022, Matthew was born. His family was scared. After all, doctors had told Emily that Matthew had a 50/50 shot of surviving. Suddenly, his family’s lives were marked by frequent hospital consultations and physician visits.
Yet Matthew has been doing much better than anyone ever thought. The family, who moved to Houston for treatment, has noted that Matthew seems to keep growing stronger by the day. But as many people within the rare disease community know, treatment and travel can be costly.
To help, Emily and her husband Matthew held a fundraiser at Chicken Salad Chick in Houston. Altogether, the fundraiser helped provide $1k to the Mcguyre family. We hope that this will assist them in getting the best possible care for Matthew!
About Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)
Doctors are not sure of the exact cause of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a rare condition characterized by defects in the diaphragm. However, a mixture of genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Normally, the diaphragm separates organs in the abdomen from organs in the chest. In the case of CDH, the diaphragm is either absent or only partially formed. As a result, a hernia (abnormal opening) forms. The abdominal organs, such as the stomach or intestines, are then able to move into the chest cavity, causing overcrowding and other health issues. Around 80-90% of CDH cases are Bochdalek hernias, occurring on the side or back of the diaphragm. Morgnani hernias are the rarer form, affecting the front of the diaphragm. Typically, Morgnani hernias have less symptoms than Bochdalek hernias, though if they show symptoms, they are often similar. Symptoms associated with CDH include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Cyanosis (blue color of the skin and lips)
- Fast breathing and rapid heart rate
- Abnormal chest development (such as a flat abdomen and barrel chest)
- Pulmonary hypoplasia (underdeveloped lungs)
- Abdominal pain