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Joshua Evans

My son, Joshua Evans was born on 03/01/2003 with a left sided diaphragmatic hernia. I had a scan on the 7th January to check blood flow as I had developed a headache. It was at the scan that the condition was diagnosed. I went to Newcastle the next day for a more detailed scan and was told to go home after being given the poor survival rate statistics. I refused to go home to Middlesbrough and it was a good job as Josh was born at 4.30 pm the next day. He was intubated immediatley after birth and moved to NICU. As I was oblivious to his condition throughout the pregnancy he was born 1 day before his due date and was a whopping 9lb 2oz! He was very easy to spot in intensive care as he was enormous! He was operated on at 8.30 am the following morning and came off the ventilator 9 days later. I brought him home at 3 and a half weeks. The window cleaner asked what I had and I explained about the CDH. He replied that a girl living on the same road as me had a baby with the exact same condition born 6 months previously. I of course told him he was mistaken! The next day he popped round with a clipping from the local paper showing Andrea Smith and her son Thomas who lived at the top of my road and was indeed born with the same condition. As you can imagine I went immediatley to Andreas and was amazed to find we had the same GP, our boys were born in the same hospital (RVI) and they had the same surgeon. Thomas had been on ECMO and had a gortex patch to repair his hernia and they were the only differences. As you can imagine, Andrea and I are our own little support group and the boys, who are now both 8 are good friends. Josh is a perfectly normal little boy who’s only sign of his condition is a very impressive scar! Both lungs have grown (he was born with only 80% of the right lung and no left lung) and apart from 2 years of chest infections in the early days and difficulties with his bowels until the age of 5, things have been fine (touch wood!!).

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