Texas Children's Fetal Center celebrates 200 miracles at patient reunion

Nov 11, 2013, 15:30 ET from Texas Children's Hospital

HOUSTON, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Saturday, dozens of families traveled to Houston from around the country and internationally for the Texas Children's Fetal Center family reunion. Since the first event in 2007, the reunion has brought together patients and their families who received life-saving fetal interventions and fetal surgeries for a variety of in-utero complications. The event has become a cherished experience for both Fetal Center families and staff. For more information about Texas Children's Fetal Center please visit women.texaschildrens.org/fetalcenter/.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131111/DC14631)

"Many of these families spend extended periods of time with the Texas Children's Fetal Center staff and in the hospital's NICU. A bond is formed amongst our patient families and the team members that treat their children," said Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, co-director of Texas Children's Fetal Center and associate professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). "These families trust us with the wellbeing of the most precious parts of their lives—their children. We don't take the responsibility lightly, and we cherish the opportunity to see these children grow."

This year's reunion brought together 200 people including Texas Children's Hospital's tiniest patients and their mothers, fathers, siblings and friends; an event that seems to grow with each passing year, much like the children who make the event and the Fetal Center such a special place.

"We think of the Fetal Center as family," said Jenny Torry, mother to Fetal Center patient Milan. Last year, Jenny and Milan were the Fetal Center's first patients to undergo fetal endoscopic tracheal occlusion (FETO), an experimental procedure to help correct very severe Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). "Our hearts are full of gratitude to the entire team at the Texas Children's Fetal Center and the NICU staff at Texas Children's Hospital. We cannot thank them enough." Now 18 months old, Milan has reached all her milestones and continues to inspire and impress her parents and doctors.

All current and former Fetal Center patients and their families were invited to the event, which took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Clinical Care Center at Texas Children's Hospital. Guests enjoyed face painting, cookie decorating, and in true Texas fashion, rodeo clowns.

"We are always eager to catch up with our patients," said Dr. Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children's Fetal Center and associate professor, Department of Pediatric Surgery at BCM. "To see how these children are developing and enjoying their childhood is incredibly gratifying, especially when I consider that these thriving kids were once very sick."

The Texas Children's Fetal Center specializes in innovative fetal surgeries to correct otherwise detrimental conditions. Founded in 2002, Texas Children's Fetal Center has a multidisciplinary team of experts and is one of the few centers in the world to provide a full spectrum of fetal medical and surgical interventions. The Fetal Center works closely with a large team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists, including the maternal-fetal expertise of Dr. Michael Belfort, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at BCM and obstetrician/gynecologist-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women. The team also includes world-renowned fetal surgeons Drs. Rodrigo Ruano and Timothy Lee. Dr. Nancy Ayres, director of Non-Invasive Imaging and Fetal Cardiology at Texas Children's Fetal Center and Dr. Carolyn Altman, associate director, Non-Invasive Imaging and Fetal Cardiology at Texas Children's Fetal Center lead the fetal cardiology team. The center also boasts a world-class fetal imaging team, led by Dr. Wesley Lee, co-director, Texas Children's Fetal Center, Dr. Nancy Ayres, fetal cardiology and Dr. Christopher Cassady, head of fetal radiology. A large team of neonatologists led by Dr. Steven Welty provides care in the neonatal intensive care unit and beyond.

About Texas Children's Hospital

Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation, Texas Children's has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children's has recently completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston.  For more information on Texas Children's, go to www.texaschildrens.org.


Christy Brunton

Sarah Frankoff

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SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital