Sheanna Haner and her husband Bill were thrilled when they found out she was pregnant with their second child last spring. But their joy soon turned to worry at the 23-week mark after an ultrasound located their baby’s heart in the wrong place.
The baby, whom they have named Matthew, was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia, a birth defect which inhibits lung development because an opening in the diaphragm allows organs, such as intestines, stomach and liver, to go up into the chest cavity.
“They caught it because his heart was on the wrong side of his chest,” said Haner, who tears up every time she thinks about her baby and the difficult road that’s ahead.
Baby Matthew is due Jan. 19, 2013, and when he’s born, he will not be breathing. The doctors will have to resuscitate him, then intubate him, and hopefully give him the surgery he needs in the first week.
That’s the easy part, explained Haner. The rest will be up to her little man and how he develops after the procedure. Haner will not be allowed to hold her baby and cuddle him until he is off the respirator, which can take four to six weeks.
“I can touch his hand, so that helps,” she said.
Haner, her husband, and their five-year-old son, Robbie, can expect to leave their Mission home and live in Vancouver for three to six months until Matthew is ready to go home.
To assist the family through this difficult time, their friend Mel Harris is organizing a beer and burger fundraiser on Dec. 28 at the 14th Avenue Pub, beginning at 6:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction and a 50/50 draw. The funds raised will help Haner and her family with accommodations and other cost of living expenses.
For tickets, call Mel at 778-987-8262, or send her an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.