I was a Doernbecher kid myself. I had open heart surgery here when I was eight years old.
Because of my heart condition, when I was pregnant, my doctor suggested I go back to OHSU Doernbecher, where they determined that my son Davis had gastroschisis—his intestines were sticking outside of his body. I was 13 weeks into my pregnancy at that point.
We went to OHSU Doernbecher frequently for ultrasounds and fetal monitoring; Davis was born at 36 weeks, because his intestines were dilated and his bladder was pulled out of his body. After he was born, he had surgery to fit everything back inside. Everything went great. We were so fortunate.
Then I got pregnant with Davis’ sister, Rory. She had the same defect: a large portion of her intestines outside her body. That was kind of mind-boggling, because they said it could only happen once in a family; gastroschisis isn’t genetic. She was also born at 36 weeks and had the same surgery.
The doctors and nurses are phenomenal. We were at OHSU Doernbecher so much that we spent a lot of time getting to know them. And I don’t know what we would have done without Cathy Cromett. She took us through the whole fetal health program process—twice. You wouldn’t know it to look at them that either child had any issues: Neither have had any restrictions or developmental delays. They both have good-looking belly buttons.
It’s nice to know the people taking your care of your child are so good at what they do. We had tough circumstances, but the teams who took care of us made it all worth it. We can’t thank them enough: Life could have been so drastically different if we didn’t get this care.