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Miracle Kid: Brianna

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

  • 4 years old

  • Chromosomal abnormality Trisomy 18 & congenital heart defects

Brianna was born premature in September 2019 with the chromosomal abnormality Trisomy 18 and congenital heart defects. Prenatal testing revealed her heart would need repair, but doctors in our affiliated neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg were even more worried about the life-threatening defects in Brianna’s esophagus. They recommended Children’s National Hospital for the surgery. SkyBear, the rapid air transport system, transferred Brianna for her surgery. Her mom, Elisabeth, says, “It was obvious from how they took care of our family why they are the top NICU in the country.” Staff organized nearby housing, and the family enjoyed the hospital’s Bunny Mellon Healing Garden. The Child Life team helped Brianna’s three sisters understand her condition and stay busy with fun activities. Brianna went home for the first time just before Thanksgiving. Four months later, Brianna returned for her heart surgery. “Her team rocked it again,” Elisabeth says. “Statistically, many of these children don’t live to see their first birthday. She’s here today largely because of the care at Children’s National. They gave life to our daughter.”

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