Hope After Surgery: Alicia’s Story
When Marlen was pregnant, her unborn baby Alicia was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), a condition where a hole allows abdominal organs to move into the chest. And this case was especially serious. Marlen began meeting with pediatric general surgeon Dr. Mustafa Kabeer, who planned for several surgeries that would take place after Alicia was born—and who would ultimately save her life.
Alicia was born at full term and transferred to CHOC immediately. Throughout the entire process, Dr. Kabeer communicated with Alicia’s parents. And like every other time her parents were cautioned about her survival, the tiny infant fought back. After several months in CHOC’s Level 4 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Alicia went home with her family. Today, she is a happy, charismatic four-year-old.
“Even though it’s a difficult subject, we want parents to understand the problem their child is facing and that we’re trying to help them and their baby overcome it. We’re going to do our best and face these challenges together. Alicia’s case reinforces the fact that babies are extremely resilient. Every patient is unique and this is a perfect example of why we should give them every chance possible.” —Dr. Kabeer