She was glowing. Her pregnancy was a walk in the park. Every prenatal checkup added to her excitement of meeting her baby whom she named Smile – the name she chose to capture the joy that her pregnancy brought her. Everything was going great, until she got the result of her ultrasound. It showed her precious Baby Smile with hydrocephalus and a lumbosacral mass.
In an instant, the smile on this mother’s face was gone.
The joy she felt was replaced with sadness and the fear of losing the baby she prayed for.
All that this mother can think of was who will help her and her Baby Smile?
Upon delivery, Baby Smile was immediately admitted at the neonatal ICU for 2 weeks of IV antibiotics. However, a CT scan revealed Chiari II Malformation, a congenital malformation where patients can have both hydrocephalus and myelomeningocele. Baby Smile’s family was advised to have the myelomeningocele or protruding membranes and spinal nerves surgically repaired.
Unfortunately, Baby Smile’s family was not able to comply due to financial constraints.
After some time, the mother noticed that the myelomeningocele was leaking clear fluid. On October 20, 2021, Baby Smile had to be admitted at PGH where the meningocele was treated. But the course of her recovery was very stormy due to hospital-acquired pneumonia and catheter-related blood stream infection.
But with the help of many donors of Let’s Save the Brain Foundation…
Last February 2022, Baby Smile underwent the last of 6 operations which affixed a permanent shunt for her hydrocephalus. Let’s Save the Brain extended assistance in the form of an extra ventricular drain to relieve the fluid build-up in her brain.
Baby Smile has since recovered well and is back home with her loved ones.
And yes, her mother is finally smiling again.