Discussion focused on what the family could expect moving forward. Potential treatment options included fetoscopic endoluminal tracheal occlusion (FETO), a surgical procedure used to treat the most severe CDH cases.
“They went out of their way to make sure that we had choices and we were an equal part of the team,” said Nora.
“Just 24 hours after being [at Cincinnati Children’s], we felt a sense of peace, thinking this is where we needed to be, no matter what, for what’s best for our son,” Tim added.
The couple gained peace of mind through several factors, including the collective expertise of the fetal care team and the resources available to them across numerous divisions and departments at Cincinnati Children’s.
“We both got in the car after the appointment and knew we were going to Cincinnati Children’s,” said Nora. “In order to feel like we did everything to help Trey survive and thrive, we knew Cincinnati [Children’s] is where we needed to be.”
When talking with Dr. Lim, their biggest questions dealt with CDH specifics, along with the FETO procedure and how Trey might be affected.
“We really wanted to understand what that could possibly look like. They answered all our questions,” said Nora.
According to Dr. Lim, helping the family understand the condition and what lies ahead—including challenges and roadblocks the baby may face after birth—are the primary goals when the fetal team meets with parents.
“We were quite transparent with them that this procedure may not work for Trey,” said Dr. Lim. “But from the very beginning—even as early as that first meeting that we had with the family—we wanted them to feel supported, regardless of how they decided to proceed.”
Successful FETO Procedure, Constant Communication Throughout
After considering their options, Nora and Tim chose to move forward with the FETO procedure. Dr. Lim, Jose Peiro, MD, PhD, Kara Markham, MD, and David McKinney, MD, performed the surgery and Tim received regular updates from a nurse in person and via text messages.