Campbell Comes to Cincinnati Children’s for Cloacal Exstrophy Surgery and Expert Treatment
There are many ways to measure the passage of time. The sun creates days, seasons, and years. The moon tracks months that can be counted by its phases as easily as calendar pages.
But Cassie Lester prefers to live each day one minute at a time. It became the new normal a little over three years ago, after she and her husband, Christopher, received a grim diagnosis during her 20-week ultrasound.
Their baby boy was diagnosed with cloacal exstrophy, or OEIS (omphalocele-exstrophy-imperforate anus-spinal defects) syndrome, a complex condition in which part of the abdomen is open and organs are visible on the outside of the body after birth. Their doctors in southern Kentucky believed nothing good would come from the pregnancy, predicting that the child, once born, would face a gauntlet of challenges and complicated surgical procedures.
Seeking a brighter hope for their baby’s future, the Lesters travelled north to Lexington for a second opinion and were soon transferred to Cincinnati Children’s to meet with experts in the Fetal Care Center and the Colorectal Center.
“You get to a point where you think, ‘Ok, I’ll take this one day at a time,’” said Cassie. “And then I had to literally think to myself, ‘I’m gonna take this one minute at a time.’ Because there were times when I couldn’t breathe.”