The shocking diagnosis that changed this family forever

The shocking diagnosis that changed this family forever

“We were kind of shocked – obviously – in the beginning.”

Expecting parents Lauren and Matthew Ferry were thrilled for the arrival of their twin babies, a boy, Caleb, and a girl, Eloise. At only 20 weeks pregnant, however, their excitement quickly turned to worry when maternal fetal medicine physicians discovered a problem.

While Eloise was healthy, Caleb was diagnosed with a congenital lung lesion – an uncommon condition in which a portion of lung tissue develops abnormally during fetal growth.

During this time, Lauren met Dr. Bethany Slater, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., who would be performing Caleb’s life-saving operation.

“Dr. Slater came in and explained the procedure, which helped a lot and eased some of the stress and worries,” says Lauren. “I felt reassured and comfortable.”

On February 14, the Ferrys welcomed their Valentine’s babies to the world.

Four months later, on June 18, Dr. Slater and surgical staff prepared Caleb for a thoracoscopic lobectomy, an operation that uses small incisions to remove the affected lobe of the lung. Compared to the traditional approach, this procedure “allows for a faster recovery, less postoperative pain and potentially reduces the risk of musculoskeletal problems after surgery,” says Dr. Slater.

It was the first time this rare surgery was being performed at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

The operation took about two and a half hours. With only three small incisions, the abnormality was extracted. Two days later, the Ferrys welcomed Caleb home.

“He’s doing wonderful; everything went according to plan,” says Lauren. For Lauren and Matthew, the experience is one they will never forget.

“The time spent in the hospital was awesome. So many volunteers were coming in asking if we needed anything; the NICU nurses were wonderful and explained things in a way we could understand; we can’t say enough great things about the NICU, Dr. Slater and Advocate in general,” says Lauren.

“We feel so grateful to have had Dr. Slater as Caleb’s doctor. She will always hold a very special place in our hearts and will forever be a part of Caleb’s story.”

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About the Author

Efua Richardson
Efua Richardson

Efua Richardson, health enews contributor, is a senior at Lewis University studying public relations & advertising. In the future, she hopes to work in entertainment, namely in the music industry. In her free time, she enjoys reading, scrolling through Instagram and trying new ethnic dishes. Among her talents is the ability to move her kneecaps in tune to music and wiggle her nose.