Posted (Tina) in All Posts on April-11-2007

I was blessed twice today. Last night, I also took the time to read testimonies of different kids from the www.realhopeforcdh.com website that the parents had created. Some of them were amazing. The one about Luke Firestone had caught my attention and I knew that the parents maintained the website. So, I decided to write to the mom, Cathie.

This is what I wrote:

My husband and I just found out that our unborn daughter has been diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. I am 21 weeks along in my pregnancy.

Thank God for your website – – it is the only resource I can find nationally that is offering our baby a true chance at life. Locally, the doctors have taken the stance that we should end the pregnancy, which is simply not an option for me and my husband. We love the Lord and trust that He has a plan. We want to give our daughter the best chance at life. Reading about Dr. Kays gives us the impression that he has a true passion for this abnormality and that he is there to “fight” with us, leveraging his talents to achieve the best outcome possible.

I would appreciate any input you have regarding your “real life” experience at Shands as well as any general advice that you have for us as expecting parents. Also, how is Luke doing? The last update on the site was a while back, so I was just wondering how your family is doing these days.

Again, thanks for the website. It is a ministry to offer expectant parents the information, stories and the true hope that there is a chance. Your testimony on the site touched me in profound ways – – just know that God has used your experience to bless me and my husband.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Tina West

She wrote back too…my heart was warmed. All of this hope was coming at an early stage…but when I needed it the most. God was giving me just what I needed. Cathie wrote back with the following:

Good Morning Tina!

I am so sorry to hear that you too are expecting a baby with CDH…but I am SO GLAD and THANKFUL that you found our site!! YES, there is HOPE for your daughter!

I would love to talk with you over the phone and share anything and everything I can with you about Luke and our amazing experience with Dr. Kays and Shands. I know you are in Colorado and we are in Ohio so I know there is at least a 2 and possibly a 3 hour time difference. Evenings after 8 pm my time are best for me…early afternoons between 1 and 3 my time are good too. Luke has a little brother, Jack, who usually naps in the afternoon. Jack, by the way, was born perfectly healthy (Praise God!) and will turn 2 in a few weeks.

Luke is 6 and is doing GREAT! He will start kindergarten this Fall and is looking forward to playing tee-ball this summer. He is a beautiful, loving little boy…our miracle straight from God’s hand.

Tina, rest assured that you have found THE ABSOLUTE BEST in Dr. David Kays. We were given the same “termination talk” here in OH that you are getting in CO…ignore it and know that there is HUGE HOPE for your precious daughter!!

I am so looking forward to talking with you and your husband.

Know that we will immediately begin to pray for you, your husband and your daughter. God indeed has a plan for your little one!

Cathie Firestone

This was such a good feeling to be able to hear from a parent who had also experienced this same high-risk situation. Also, Cathie is someone who shares my faith. This was such a comforting feeling. I knew this meant too…that she would pray for us. We needed that so much right now. My heart was just so encouraged by the email exchange.

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