Local family raises awareness for birth defect

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Ian Wesley Meats – Photo submitted by CDH International Awareness

Wyo4news Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING — Tracy Meats learned of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia shortly after the birth of her son, Ian. Tracy shares about her and her son’s journey with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

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CDH is a birth defect that affects over 52,000 children worldwide every year. During gestation, the diaphragm fails to fully form often allowing abdominal organs to reach the chest cavity and restrict lung growth. There is a 50 percent chance of survival with CDH and the cause is still unknown.

The Meats family was featured today on the CDH Radio Show, a weekly podcast run by CDH International, the world’s largest charity for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. The family will also be featured on the April 19th CDH Telethon, which is global Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Day.

Tracy shares when she first learned of their son’s condition

“Ian was diagnosed shortly after birth with a left-sided Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. The pregnancy was normal, there was nothing of concern except for measuring 4 weeks ahead of my gestation age. My water broke at 36 weeks and an emergency c-section was needed due to him being in respiratory distress. When he arrived, he was purplish/blue in color and not a single sound was heard from him, nor was he moving. Doctors and nurses rushed him to the nursery and proceeded to try and get him to cry and breathe. An x-ray ultimately determined he had CDH and he would need to be life-flighted 3 hours from home for NICU care.”

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Tracy shares when her son’s time in the NICU

“Within the first day of life, Ian’s organs and the body was shutting down. Due to his rough birth, how he was handled at our local hospital, and his transfer, doctors had medically done everything they could for him. They had told us he had a 5% chance of making it through the night without ECMO. ECMO ultimately gave his heart and lungs time to rest and get stronger. On day 5 of life, he underwent his CDH repair in the NICU on ECMO. Two days later he successfully was taken off of ECMO and began his healing and recovery. Ian spent 53 1/2 days in the NICU and 546 days needing supplemental oxygen due to pulmonary hypertension and his small lungs. Ian came home with an NG tube for feeds and faced many delays physically and mentally the first 4 years of his life. Ian has lasting exercise-induced asthma and heart issues that are watched closely by specialists.”

Tracy shares her son’s current status

“Ian turns 18 this April and is graduating from high school in May. He is not sure of his future but thinks he wants to pursue graphic design or something with music. We know the day we walked out of that hospital; we were blessed with a miracle. Our work with CDHi over the years has blessed our lives, so many children have left footprints on our hearts, and we want to give back in their honor/memory and make a difference. CDH doesn’t end with us, but I know together we can make a difference. Ian forever changed our lives, and we couldn’t imagine life without him. He fought from his first breath and continues to fight and to us, he is our hero.”

Tracy has this to share of CDH International

“CDH International has provided our family with the support we needed as Ian grew up. CDHi ultimately becomes our passion and helping families. Providing families support, information, and love during a CDH journey is our mission. No family should have to walk this journey alone.”

According to CDH International, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia is as common as Cystic Fibrosis and Spina Bifida but has little awareness and very little funding.

CDH International is headquartered in North Carolina. They have helped over 6500 CDH families in all 50 states and 74 countries, through patient services, raising awareness and funding, and participating in global research. Their mission is to support affected families, facilitate research, and raise awareness for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

The Meats family currently lives in Rock Springs, Wyoming. If you would like to learn more or to make a donation in honor of Ian Meats, please visit them at http://www.cdhi.org

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