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Chase, North Vernon, Indiana
Chase at a very patriotic 8 months. My pregnancy with my second child was pretty uneventful. In my last month, my blood pressure was very high and since this was going to be a repeat C-section, the decision was made to have the baby 2 weeks early. So on November 1st, my husband and I arrived at the hospital as planned and went through all of the pre-surgery paperwork.

My C-section went very smoothly. The baby was taken out and was announced to be a boy. He was not shown to me at all, which I thought was unusual. He was quickly taken over to the incubator where the nurse seemed unusually quiet. Since this was my second C-section, I knew right away that things were different. I told my husband to go over and check on the baby. I quickly noticed the worried expression on his face and the whispers that followed.
I frantically started demanding that they tell me what was wrong. The doctor calmly walked over and told me there was a problem with Chase's arm. He said it appeared that there was no circulation below his right elbow and that he was going to have to call Riley, the children's hospital in Indianapolis, to have them come and get Chase.

It all seemed like a big blur after that. Chase's arm was wrapped up so that I couldn't see it. I did manage to see his fingertips which appeared to be black, but completely formed with fingernails. I got to see my baby and hold him once before the transport unit from Riley came to get him. He was whisked away in a special incubator to a hospital 2 hours away, and I was left to look at a polaroid picture that was taken of him.

Two days later I was released from the hospital so that I could go see him. When I got there, the orthopedic surgeon told me that I should sit down. They unwrapped my beautiful baby's arm to reveal a black shriveled up hand and forearm. The days and weeks that followed were exhausting. They still do not know what was the cause. Their best guess is something called Amniotic Band Syndrome. That is where bands come loose from the placenta and can get wrapped around the baby. They believe that whatever happened, it happened only a day or two before he was born.

Chase was in the hospital for 38 days and had 4 surgeries. They amputated below his elbow and did skin grafts to cover up the tissue. However, this would not be the end. Just two months later, Chase's skin graft starting breaking down, and his bones started to protrude through the skin. We met with a plastic surgeon who wanted to cut a flap in Chase's stomach and sew his arm into it for 2 weeks to grow more skin there. We decided against this option which only left further amputation.

So, Chase went back in the hospital to have his arm amputated through his elbow joint. Chase has healed well from that surgery, and is doing great. He has the sweetest personality, and smiles all of the time. He currently has therapy twice a week and will go in June to be fitted for a prosthesis.

To communicate with Chase, you may contact his mother, Jennifer, via email.
Chase with his sister, Charley.

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