Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler celebrates “miracle baby,” first survivor of rare condition

posted at 9:33 pm on July 29, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Jaime Herrera Beutler is a second-term Republican Congresswoman from Washington State, an acolyte and former aide of the state’s other prominent conservative women legislator, Cathy McMorris-Rodgers. She’s one of the younger faces on the Hill, and she and her husband welcomed their first child in July. And, what a story, culminating in the blessing of a daughter who may be the first known survivor of her rare condition— Potter’s Syndrome.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s first child has survived two weeks after birth despite a pregnancy problem that is usually fatal.

Herrera Beutler (BUT’-ler) announced Monday that her daughter, Abigail Rose Beutler, was born July 15. 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 unborn child’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.

Abigail was born early but had fully developed lungs. She requires ongoing dialysis and will eventually need a kidney transplant.

Thanks to an experimental procedure at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, little Abigail had saline in the absence of amniotic fluid, which allowed her lungs to develop:

Most children born with the condition are unable to breathe on their own.

Despite the seemingly hopeless situation, the congresswoman and her husband, Daniel, said they were praying for a miracle and would continue with the pregnancy.

She underwent an experimental procedure at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore called amnioinfusion, in which doctors injected saline solution into the womb to facilitate lung development.

She had the procedure every week for five weeks.

Having continued to work in Congress during the bulk of her pregnancy, Beutler went into labor prematurely in mid-July in her home state.

Herrera Beutler and her doctor seem to have stumbled on the treatment during her diagnosis. Here’s hoping it can be used for other children.

Herrera Beutler heard discouraging opinions from two doctors before she saw Hopkins physician Jessica Bienstock. The perinatologist injected her uterus with saline for an ultrasound. What she saw looked like a textbook case of BRA-caused Potter’s sequence, according to a statement from the hospital — no kidneys, a deformed head and chest.

But at another checkup a week later, they were surprised to find that the saline — only intended for the diagnosis — seemed to be helping: The baby was developing and moving around. Herrera Beutler asked for more infusions; Bienstock gave her five over several weeks.

She was born at 28 weeks and a little over two pounds, but is now breathing on her own.

“She is every bit a miracle,” the new mother, from Washington state, said in a release.

Abigail Rose has a kidney transplant and an uncertain future ahead of her. Keep her and her family in your prayers.

Correction: I changed the spelling of Jaime Herrera Beutler’s first name, which I got wrong the first time around.


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Behold the power of faith.

Robert_Paulson on July 29, 2013 at 9:39 PM

I believe God has a plan for each of us. Maybe Baby Abigail’s mission was to lead the way in this new treatment. God bless this family, they have a challenging future ahead.

hopeful on July 29, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Great news for my Congresswoman. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

Whiterock on July 29, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Good luck, and keep fighting, little warrior.

Sekhmet on July 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

…the left ain’t gonna like this!

KOOLAID2 on July 29, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Prayers.

Good thing sebilius didn’t catch wind of it.

wolly4321 on July 29, 2013 at 9:47 PM

All the best to the Congresswoman, her husband, and Junior.

22044 on July 29, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Thanks to an experimental procedure at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, little Abigail had saline in the absence of amniotic fluid, which allowed her lungs to develop:
=============================

Awesome!!

canopfor on July 29, 2013 at 9:51 PM

I believe God has a plan for each of us. Maybe Baby Abigail’s mission was to lead the way in this new treatment. God bless this family, they have a challenging future ahead.

hopeful on July 29, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Good luck, and keep fighting, little warrior.

Sekhmet on July 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Many, many dittoes.

PatriotGal2257 on July 29, 2013 at 9:51 PM

God’s blessing, a miracle of life! Congrats to the new parents. Prayers continue for all of them.

CoffeeLover on July 29, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Good thing sebilius didn’t catch wind of it.

wolly4321 on July 29, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Don’t be too hasty. Once they figure out how to put an adult kidney in a child, Kathleen the Death Queen will be all over it.

CurtZHP on July 29, 2013 at 9:55 PM

but it’s just a useless lump of cells so who cares? /abortion supporters

Sachiko on July 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Ruling? Mandatory (i.e. coerced) abortion under ObamaCare.

– IPAB Death Panel

ShainS on July 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Wonderful news. As I read it of course I can’t help but wonder how long until HHS or the IPAB determines that this experimental procedure requires a decade of study before it can be legally used.

That’s what happened with the rather more distasteful procedure covered on these pages a few weeks ago:

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2013/07/07/why-i-donated-my-stool/comment-page-1/#comment-2391542

SoRight on July 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM

I believe God has a plan for each of us. Maybe Baby Abigail’s mission was to lead the way in this new treatment. God bless this family, they have a challenging future ahead.

hopeful on July 29, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Amen.

May the Lord bless the child and the family.

ColtsFan on July 29, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Welcome, little one!
Keep fighting!!!

annoyinglittletwerp on July 29, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Yes, Virginia. Miracles do happen.

All of God’s blessing on Abigail Rose…

And all good wishes to Mom an Dad Beutler.

Solaratov on July 29, 2013 at 10:03 PM

but it’s just a useless lump of cells so who cares? /abortion supporters

Sachiko on July 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

There’s still time to smother it with a pillow. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time participating in Civil War reenactments or making ball gags out of used golf balls?

/thuja

CurtZHP on July 29, 2013 at 10:03 PM

but it’s just a useless lump of cells so who cares? /abortion supporters

Sachiko on July 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

This is one of the things that is so frustrating about the pro-abortion/pro euthanasia crowd. If the parent hadn’t been so committed to finding a way for their baby,this new procedure would never have been discovered. Many parents would have aborted given the odds of the child not making it. Same with the other end of the spectrum. We learn new medical information with each little success. Maybe your loved one won’t wake from that coma or maybe they will and doctors will learn a new method of treatment.
Besides, I think it’s awfully arrogent of us to think we know more than God and should just abort an unhealthy baby.

hopeful on July 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Come on modern medicine!!! I hope this story gets more amazing and happier every day.

Cindy Munford on July 29, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Announcing birth of Abigail Rose Beutler — two weeks old today!
July 29, 2013 at 9:22am
***********************

With great joy, gratitude and hope, we are pleased to share with you the news of the birth of our daughter, Abigail Rose Beutler, on Monday, July 15 at 3:13 AM at Emanuel Legacy hospital in Portland. She weighed two pounds, twelve ounces and was only 28 weeks along. She is every bit a miracle.

A few weeks ago, we shared the news of her diagnosis of Potter’s Sequence. In Abigail’s case, Potter’s was caused by bilateral renal agenesis. The condition caused a complete absence of amniotic fluid, critical for lung development in the womb. Multiple doctors explained that based on medical evidence her condition was incompatible with life and that, if she survived to term, she would be unable to breathe and live only moments after birth. We were also told that dialysis or transplant were not possible. The options we were offered were termination or “expectant management,” that is, waiting for her to die. Instead, we chose to pray earnestly for a miracle. Many of you joined us.

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. The next challenge was to address her lack of kidney function.

The first doctors we encountered told us that dialysis or transplant were not possible. No local hospital was prepared to perform the procedure necessary – peritoneal dialysis – on a baby so small. Johns Hopkins was willing, but too far to transport. After a day of searching, we found a team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital who were “happy to have her.” At sixteen hours old, she made her first trip to California, had surgery the next day and began dialysis immediately after. She is active, stable and breathing on her own.

As far as every doctor we’ve spoken with knows, Abigail is the first baby with bilateral renal agenesis to breathe sustainably on her own.

Abigail is making new friends in the NICU from all walks of life receiving exceptional care. Although Abigail will need ongoing care after she comes home, we have every expectation that she will lead a full and healthy life.

We are grateful to the doctors and nurses in Baltimore, Vancouver, Portland, and California who, like us, were not willing to accept the fatal diagnosis, but were willing to fight for the impossible. We owe a special thanks to Dr. Jessica Bienstock at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Fred Coleman at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital, Dr. Anya Bailis at Legacy Clinic Maternal Fetal Medicine, and the entire team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. We are grateful to the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle. But most of all, we are grateful to God for answering those prayers.

As for mom, she is doing well, caring for her precious little daughter and recovering.

We feel called to share with you the details of this wonderful story of God’s work and the remarkable doctors who helped us in the near future. At the moment, our focus is, of course, on our beautiful fourteen day old daughter.
=====================================

https://www.facebook.com/notes/jaime-herrera-beutler/announcing-birth-of-abigail-rose-beutler-two-weeks-old-today/708767779138588

canopfor on July 29, 2013 at 10:07 PM

GOP Congresswoman Refuses to Have Abortion, Gives Birth to ‘Miracle’ Baby Who Doctors Thought Would Not Survive
Jul. 29, 2013 5:00pm
********************

When doctors told Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) that her unborn child was suffering from a normally fatal kidney condition, she was also advised that abortion was one of her options.

However, the pro-life Republican refused to abort her child.

On Monday, Beutler announced that she had given birth to a baby girl, who she called a “miracle.”
(More..)
==========

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/29/gop-congresswoman-refuses-to-have-abortion-gives-birth-to-miracle-baby-who-doctors-thought-would-not-survive/

canopfor on July 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

an acolyte and former aide

A wonderful story. But in a story about a political figure, this phrasing seems questionable. Yes, I’m aware of acolytes who, in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, assist the pastor with some duties around the altar during a church service. In most other contexts–especially political contexts–the term is disparaging.

Can we get a rewrite?

BuckeyeSam on July 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

What a miracle! Wishing you a long and healthy life Abigail.

gophergirl on July 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Prayers for this darling child. May God look after her…

sandee on July 29, 2013 at 10:32 PM

My inadequate blessings be with you and your precious gift. To know that you are the Mom is so comforting. I will pray for you all. You deserve the best!

MNDavenotPC on July 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM

What a heartwarming story that is.

scalleywag on July 29, 2013 at 10:51 PM

God bless the little child.

As for Rubio taking the lead on pro-life legislation; get the hell out of the way and let Jamie take over.

AH_C on July 29, 2013 at 11:00 PM

A few weeks ago, we shared the news of her diagnosis of Potter’s Sequence. In Abigail’s case, Potter’s was caused by bilateral renal agenesis. The condition caused a complete absence of amniotic fluid, critical for lung development in the womb. Multiple doctors explained that based on medical evidence her condition was incompatible with life and that, if she survived to term, she would be unable to breathe and live only moments after birth. We were also told that dialysis or transplant were not possible. The options we were offered were termination or “expectant management,” that is, waiting for her to die. Instead, we chose to pray earnestly for a miracle. Many of you joined us.

We are grateful to the doctors and nurses in Baltimore, Vancouver, Portland, and California who, like us, were not willing to accept the fatal diagnosis, but were willing to fight for the impossible. We owe a special thanks to Dr. Jessica Bienstock at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Fred Coleman at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital, Dr. Anya Bailis at Legacy Clinic Maternal Fetal Medicine, and the entire team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

canopfor on July 29, 2013 at 10:07 PM

The “multiple doctors” were so very wrong, and God had another plan.

May the Lord richly bless all the doctors and nurses who were so willing to stand for life and fight for Precious Baby Abigail. She not only is a miracle baby, but through her birth and life God is using her to give other parents hope where there seems to be no hope.

And may God bless Abigail, Mom and Dad with long, happy and healthy lives.

GrannyDee on July 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Many, many, a plethora, an abundance, a myriad of dittoes.

PatriotGal2257 on July 29, 2013 at 9:51 PM

FIFY : )))))))

herm2416 on July 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM

was it faith or being a member of the House? Seems like those DC people have some really good healthcare.

Ginsburg pancreatic cancer was cured, Ted Kennedy lasted almost 1.5 years with a brain tumor, Clinton’s heart problems etc seems what would kill a normal person does kill them.

but regardless I’m glad the baby is doing fine.

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 11:11 PM

A newborn baby is not a problem, it’s an opportunity!
Every newborn child is a squirming smiling wide-eyed bundle of the most spectacularly dazzling possibilities, that to say it’s precious doesn’t even skim the surface of the idea. It’s a suddenly opened door to a whole new world, and all that we might be and all that we might become is right there in our arms.
Abigail Rose Beutler is already delivering on the dazzling promise of all newborn babies, but the truth is that the real payoff will be much further down the line. The very fact of her existence will echo down the years of her life, and all the lives of all who meet her or hear of her will be changed, and a whole new world of possibilities will be reborn every day.
Welcome to life, Abigail. All eternity holds its breath waiting to see what you will make of it.

Lew on July 29, 2013 at 11:18 PM

an acolyte and former aide
A wonderful story. But in a story about a political figure, this phrasing seems questionable. Yes, I’m aware of acolytes who, in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, assist the pastor with some duties around the altar during a church service. In most other contexts–especially political contexts–the term is disparaging.
Can we get a rewrite?
BuckeyeSam on July 29, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Actually, acolyte isn’t generally recognized as pejorative in any context. If there’s any criticism, it’s that the word doesn’t give Herrera enough credit and autonomy in her own career, but I was just trying to communicate that the two were close and McMorris definitely acted as mentor on her path to office. So, no, no rewrite.

Mary Katharine Ham on July 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM

was it faith or being a member of the House? Seems like those DC people have some really good healthcare.

Ginsburg pancreatic cancer was cured, Ted Kennedy lasted almost 1.5 years with a brain tumor, Clinton’s heart problems etc seems what would kill a normal person does kill them.

but regardless I’m glad the baby is doing fine.

unseen on July 29, 2013 at 11:11 PM

If there ever was a backhanded congratulations…

GrannyDee on July 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM

This is what we call medicine.

It’s the kind of thing you don’t get when the government controls your health care outcomes and treats you like a cost on a ledger.

BKennedy on July 29, 2013 at 11:44 PM

GOD Bless you baby girl. It was no accident the saline solution turned out to be what the lungs needed to develop. GOD is everywhere and this beautiful gift Abigail Rose is pointing the way to save many others like her.
GOD has used Abigail to light the way.
GOD Bless the family and I will remember to keep them in my prayers. Amen

Delsa on July 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM

So I assume this Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler Is resigning to take care of her sick child right?

lowandslow on July 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

God bless Abigail rose with luck and determination… she will need plenty of both.

God bless the doctors involved in this. We need more like them.

God bless the parents for taking a different road. We are all blessed for it.

Chaz706 on July 30, 2013 at 12:28 AM

lowandslow on July 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

What’s it to you? Do you think she’s at home?

Cindy Munford on July 30, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Life is so precious. This story touches my heart. I am so glad Momma and Poppa got to see their baby breathe. The future is in God’s hands, but these wonderful parents may have helped create a future for other babies to come, Thanks to all the medical people to did not give up

God bless them all

entagor on July 30, 2013 at 12:35 AM

lowandslow on July 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

What is it to you?
These parents decided not to kill their baby girl. They decided to give her a chance at life and it turned out, through their efforts and Abigail’s will to live, there is medical help for other babies with the same medical condition.
Abigail is their miracle. Every life has meaning and is precious.

Delsa on July 30, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Amazing story. In a work of fiction, the writer would be trying to come up with a more plausible narrative.

IOW, yes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Just by being born, this child is an inspiration, and a reminder that all life is precious.

tom on July 30, 2013 at 12:39 AM

lowandslow on July 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

She has a father, too.

alwaysfiredup on July 30, 2013 at 12:47 AM

If there ever was a backhanded congratulations…

GrannyDee on July 29, 2013 at 11:23 PM

nothing backhanded about it. I’m happy for the parents and glad the baby is doing fine.

unseen on July 30, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Nothing about this isn’t completely awesome.

PXCharon on July 30, 2013 at 6:18 AM

IMO this story merits my namesake verse.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”–2 Corinthians 12:9

God bless this mother and father, and precious Abigail, with health, long life, and every happiness.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 30, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Really happy for the Congresswoman and her family. I read about the complications around the time the prognosis was originally disclosed.

Mister Mets on July 30, 2013 at 8:08 AM

So I assume this Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler Is resigning to take care of her sick child right?
 
lowandslow on July 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

 
She hired a consultant to research the appropriate action. Some lady named Giffords IIRC.

rogerb on July 30, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Democrats to attribute this miracle to ØbamaCare in 5, 4, 3……

Kafir on July 30, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Amazing how different the attitudes of conservative versus liberals are when it comes to babies. Liberals fight tooth and nail so they can kill their baby, while conservatives fight tooth and nail to save theirs.

Flange on July 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

This is such an uplifting story.

Congrats to the the new mom and dad.

Anna on July 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Mary Katherine -

You said this miracle baby will be looking at a liver transplant sometime in the future. Ask Ed about something I was part of way back during the Captain’s Quarter’s days…

If you or Ed have any contact with the Congresswoman and her family (you probably don’t, but you never know), please let them know that when and if the time comes, I’m still willing to do it again (wife willing).

psrch on July 30, 2013 at 9:29 AM

lowandslow on July 29, 2013 at 11:49 PM

Wow.
Talk about a troll with the perfect screen name.

VelvetElvis on July 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Yeah I’m the troll. The new conservatism, let’s celebrate women that put their bull-sh*t political careers ahead of being with their sick child. Tell me again how our social ideology is all that much different then liberalism?

lowandslow on July 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Folks, I’ve been there. Don’t flame me.

Sometimes … I believe parents should sit down and give some thought to what sort of life their child is going to have.

Labamigo on July 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM