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Local News
09/09/13

Local Congresswoman’s ‘miracle baby’ turns eight weeks old

BeutlerSTANFORD, (Calif.) — The daughter of U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler is eight weeks old today.

Doctors call Abigail Beutler the ‘miracle baby’ because she may be the first baby to ever survive Potter’s Syndrome. Potter’s Syndrome is a prenatal condition that leaves a baby without kidneys and prevents the lungs from developing properly. Babies with Potter’s Syndrome typically die before birth.

Doctors tried an experimental treatment, injecting Herrera-Beutler with a saline solution while she was pregnant to help Abigail’s lungs develop. So far, it’s worked.

Abigail is being treated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, Calif. She will be on dialysis until she can receive a transplant in about a year or so.

BeutlerPORTLAND — Two-term U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler announced the birth of a baby daughter Monday, two weeks after the child was born with Potter’s Sequence, a rare and typically fatal disease.

Herrera Beutler, R- Wash, announced the birth of Abigail Rose Beutler on her Facebook page. The baby was only 28 weeks old, weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces and suffered from the bilateral renal agenesis caused by the absence of amniotic fluid in the womb critical for lung development.

Babies born with Potter’s Sequence are typically incapable of breathing and die moments after birth. According to Herrera Beutler’s Facebook page, multiple doctors recommended the congresswoman either terminate her pregnancy or undergo expectant management, waiting for the baby to die shortly after a natural birth. Instead, Herrera Beutler underwent an experimental procedure at John Hopkins Hospital injecting saline into her womb in hopes of giving the baby’s lungs a chance to develop. After five infusions, Herrera Beutler went into pre-term delivery and birthed the baby, who came out crying and breathing at Emanual Legacy Hospital in Portland.

“She is every bit a miracle,” Herrera Beutler said.

Following the birth the baby was sent to Lucile Packard Children’s hospital in Stanford, Calif., for kidney treatment. She is currently under kidney dialysis but stable and breathing on her own, Herrera Beutler said.

The baby is the first baby born with bilateral renal agenesis to breath on her own in the U.S. and perhaps the world, Beutler said. She attributes the baby’s birth to both medical staff and the power of prayer.

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Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., who represents Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District,  disclosed Tuesday that her unborn child has been diagnosed with an often-fatal medical condition called Potter’s Syndrome.

“We are praying for a miracle,” the 34-year-old congresswoman from southwestern Washington said on her Facebook page.

“A few weeks ago Daniel (her husband) and I excitedly announced that we are expecting our first baby later this fall.  This post is to let you know about a sharp turn our journey has taken,” she wrote.

“At a recent, routine ultrasound appointment, we received the difficult news that our baby has a serious medical condition called Potter’s Syndrome. Potter’s Syndrome (or Potter’s Sequence) is abnormally low amniotic fluid caused by impaired kidney function, which inhibits normal lung development and is often fatal.

“We have had a second opinion and the medical diagnosis was consistent with the initial news: there is no medical solution available to us. We are praying for a miracle.

“We don’t know what the future holds for our family, but we ask for your prayers and appreciate the privacy a family needs in such circumstances.  According to the medical information and advice we’ve received, I will be able to continue to balance the responsibilities of an expectant mother with serving as your representative in Congress.”

Herrera Beutler, who has been serving in the U.S. House since 2011, lives in Camas.

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