Madeline Gets to Play Every Day

Madeline is smart, articulate, and asks lots of questions. She is in constant motion. Jessica, her mother, calls Madeline “my dresses and dirt kid,” because she, well, wears dresses and plays in the dirt.

If Jessica had taken a prenatal diagnosis at face value, there would be no Madeline, no asking questions or playing in the dirt.

Prenatal Checkup Delivers Devastating News

At Jessica’s 21-week prenatal checkup, her doctor told Jessica that her unborn child had Dandy-Walker Syndrome. Dandy-Walker is a congenital brain condition of the cerebellum, an area of the brain that coordinates movement. It can affect motor development and the nervous system. The syndrome also causes devastating mental and physical disabilities.

Jessica’s doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy.

A Second Opinion Informs A Parent’s Crucial Decision

Despite the short window for a heart-rending decision, Jessica wanted answers and sought a second opinion. “We were going to fight for her,” Jessica says. She made an appointment at the Regional Fetal Evaluation Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for the following week. 

Expert Medical Team Delivers Under Pressure

Knowing how everything depended on the second opinion and diagnosis, the medical team at St. Christopher’s carried out a thorough series of tests. By the end of the day, the MRI results delivered the news that changed Jessica and her family’s life forever.

The original diagnosis was wrong. Madeline did not have Dandy-Walker Syndrome. She would be born to become the healthy, smart, articulate dress-and-dirt kid her mom loves so much.

St. Christopher’s Regional Fetal Evaluation Center helps families like Jessica’s every day. The team is passionate about their work and the families they serve. An accurate diagnosis is critical. Compassion for others is vital. And personalized care leads the way. Kids like Madeline deserve a chance.