Created: 05/29/2014 7:52 AM WHEC.com
By: Lia Lando
Almost five months before their son was born, Drew Lagares and Theresa Cappon already knew something was wrong with their baby.
Ultrasounds showed a shadow so Theresa was monitored once a week, then twice a week before getting a clear diagnosis. Their baby had gastroschisis, a birth defect in which the intestines stick out of the body through a hole in the abdominal wall and creates a wide range of potential complications.
Six weeks before her due date, a regularly scheduled stress test showed Theresa was having contractions. “I wasn't hooked up to it for very long before the room was swarmed with doctors and nurses. They told me that I was going to have him today."
Theresa was rushed to UR Medicine's Strong Memorial Hospital. Andrew was born via caesarean section, his body placed immediately in a bag to keep his intestines intact before being rushed to surgery.
Once in surgery, doctors realized Andrew’s condition was even more critical. Dr. Chirstopher Gitzelmann said, “To complicate things with Andrew, his bowl was twisted."”
Dr. Gitzelmann put the remaining intestines back inside the abdomen, hoping that they and Andrew would survive. Dr. Gitzelmann also found that the baby was suffering from short bowel syndrome. “He started off with 25 centimeters of small bowel, less than 40 centimeters is considered short cut, which means you are not able to process the nutrients."
Andrew's medical team would start a series of complicated procedures, some never tried before, that they hoped would grow the short bowl on its own. Dr. Gitzelmann said, “This case is clearly on the most difficult side of the surgical capabilities and techniques that we have today. Luckily, he was able to avoid what would have been a bowel transplant."
During the following year, Andrew was in and out of the hospital with multiple surgeries. Now age two, and other than the scars on his belly, there are no signs of Andrew’s rough beginning.
Dr. Gitzelmann said, “To see a kid running around at one years of age after all those procedures, it's fantastic. There is nothing better."
Andrews’ mother said, “You look at him and you would never know anything that he went through."
You can see all of our Miracle Kids this Sunday on News10NBC during the Golisano Children’s Hospital Telethon.