Sessions Co-Sponsors Resolution to Create CDH Awareness Day
WASHINGTON—The United States Senate passed a resolution by unanimous consent last night to designate March 31, 2010, as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Day. The measure, Senate Resolution 204, was co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and sponsored by U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA).
A congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) occurs when an infant’s diaphragm fails to fully form while the baby is developing in the uterus, leaving an opening that allows abdominal organs into the baby’s chest cavity and prevents lung growth.
The cause of the condition is unknown, yet CDH occurs in one in every 3,000 U.S. births, and 50 percent of diagnosed babies do not survive. Other complications frequently occur when a baby is diagnosed with this condition, resulting in mothers often being advised to terminate their pregnancy when CDH is identified early.
Sessions’ unborn grandson was diagnosed with CDH in his daughter’s ninth month of pregnancy.
“CDH is a life threatening condition. When my grandson was born with CDH, he required corrective surgery at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, when he was four days old,” Sessions said. “I am grateful to the doctors who saved my grandson’s life, and I hope that setting aside a day to recognize CDH will increase awareness, leading to additional research and life-saving treatments for all unborn babies diagnosed with this condition.”
James Beauregard (Jim Beau) Reinhardt was born to Mary Abigail Sessions Reinhardt and her husband, Paul, on November 30, 2009. After 43 days in intensive care, Jim Beau was released from the hospital and was able to join his older sister, Jane Ritchie, at the family’s home in Georgia.