Theresa has a condition known as "Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia." She has what is considered
to be a severe hernia on the right side of her diaphraghm. The condition is rare, and right-sided ones are even more
rare, so there is little published information or statistics on cases like hers.
What this condition means is that her diaphraghm (the muscle between her chest and abdominal cavities
that helps the lungs to work) has a hole in it. The hole has allowed half of her liver, her entire gall bladder, and
a portion of her colon/intestine to enter her chest cavity. They have shifted and squished her heart to the far left
and forward, crushed her right lung and part of her left lung.
The hole itself is not the problem. The fact that her lungs cannot develop normally and grow
fully is the concern.
She will be delivered at Saint Luke's Hospital, her condition immediately assessed, and put on at
least some sort of ventilation. When she has been stabilized in the delivery room, she will be taken up one floor and
down a short corridor to the NICU at Texas Children's Hospital. Both hospitals are located in the downtown Houston medical
There, she will be monitored constantly until she is strong enough to have the surgery to repair
her hernia. Then, she will continue to be monitored, and hopefully will be able to be weaned off ventilation in the
The average stay in the NICU for a CDH baby is around 3 months.