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Vinny's Story

This holiday season, 2-year-old Vinny is home with family—thanks to caring friends like you—and doing wonderfully well. But two years ago around this time, his mom, Courtney, was terrified he wouldn’t survive due to severe issues with his intestinal development. “We’re thankful for the best surgeon who keeps in contact through email to check on my son,” says Courtney.
Baby V

When Courtney was 30 weeks pregnant, she went to her doctor for a routine appointment. A nurse herself, she quickly realized something was wrong with Vinny—her son who was soon to be born. The ultrasound tech had a concerned look on her face as she called in a co­worker and then the doctor. Right away, they referred Courtney to the Fetal Medicine Institute at Children’s National.

An MRI revealed a gastrointestinal problem, but the severity was unclear. They scheduled surgery for within a few hours of his birth. The NICU team explained their plans and showed Courtney around to soothe her anxiety. The surgery after Vinny’s birth went well. 

“I remember receiving the phone call from Dr. Petrosyan [Vinny’s surgeon],” says Courtney, “He said my son was born with jejunal atresia and had had a bowel resection with a temporary ostomy. It was the scariest moment of my life.” 

 Jejunal atresia is related to conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome, but he tested negative for these conditions. 

“We spent our first Christmas in the NICU and our first New Year’s,” says Courtney. “Then, on January 12th, my son’s ostomy was reversed, and we found out that he did NOT have biliary atresia.” 

Vinny was discharged in February 2018 after several months of treatment and was able to go home for the first time. Since then, he took a family vacation and has joined in many holidays and celebrations surrounded by loved ones. Vinny is doing great today, thanks to caring supporters who gave generously to help him heal.

“I feel blessed. We are very healthy now,” says Courtney. 

As we approach our 150th birthday in 2020, we have a lot to celebrate. Your support helps us create brighter futures for children—like Vinny—everywhere. Thank you!

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