Carter was born with an Omphalocele (intestines and liver in a sac on the outside of his body), Exstrophy of his bladder (bladder on the outside of his body split in half and turned inside out), Imperforated Anus (requiring him to have an ostomy), and severe spinal defects (2 myelocystoceles, tethered and torqued cord). At 3 days old he had his first surgery to make his ostomy and sew his bladder halves together. He tolerated the surgery great and we took him home after a quick 4 week NICU stay. Carter was an extremely happy baby. He had his second surgery at 6 months to repair his spinal defects. His spinal defects were extremely severe and we were told he may not walk. He did not move his left leg for nearly 6 weeks after surgery. God had other plans and Carter started walking unassisted at 20 months.
Carter struggled with weight gain and only weighed 14lbs at a year old. He started suffering developmentally. He had a surgery to revise his ostomy which led to complete intestinal failure. Carter spent 7 months in and out of the hospital. He required complete IV nutrition the entire time. He spent time at Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital, Johns Hopkins Children's Center and was ultimately airlifted to Cincinnati Children's Hospital where cutting edge technology saved his life. By this point Carter had been sedated and taken for surgery more than 30 times. We left Cincinnati Children's and began a new journey. Our next goal was to get Carter healthy enough for his "BIG" surgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.