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Rep. Herrera Beutler calls newborn daughter's survival a 'miracle'

Rep. Herrera Beutler calls newborn daughter's survival a 'miracle'
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (left) and her husband, Daniel Beutler, are seen with their daughter, Abigail, in a photo from Herrera Beutler's Facebook page.

PORTLAND, Ore. — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's first child has survived two weeks after birth despite a pregnancy problem that is usually deadly.

Herrera Beutler announced Monday that her daughter, Abigail Rose Beutler, was born July 15 in Portland. Doctors had diagnosed a serious problem during the pregnancy called Potter Syndrome, in which impaired kidney function leads to low amniotic fluid.

The condition is typically fatal because it prevents the unborn child's lungs from developing.

Her doctors believe Abigail is likely the first baby to survive the diagnosis.

"She weighed two pounds, twelve ounces and was only 28 weeks along. She is every bit a miracle," said Herrera Beutler in an announcement on her Facebook page.

Abigail had no kidneys and had no amniotic fluid in the womb. During the pregnancy, doctors injected saline solution into the womb in the place of amniotic fluid once a week for five weeks.

“With each infusion we watched via ultrasound as Abigail responded to the fluid by moving, swallowing and ‘practice breathing,’” Herrera Beutler said. “There was no way to know if this treatment would be effective or to track lung development, but with hearts full of hope, we put our trust in the Lord and continued to pray for a miracle.”

Abigail was born early but she had fully developed lungs. She requires ongoing dialysis and will eventually need a kidney transplant.

“The first doctors we encountered told us that dialysis or transplant were not possible,” said Herrera Butler. “No local hospital was prepared to perform the procedure necessary - peritoneal dialysis - on a baby so small.”

When she was just 16 hours old, Abigail was flown from Portland to Palo Alto, Calif. where doctors began treating her at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. She had surgery the next day and began dialysis.

“We are grateful to the thousands who joined us in praying for a miracle," said Herrera Beutler. "But most of all, we are grateful to God for hearing those prayers.”