Two-year-old Eve Phillipson is adorable beyond words with her chubby cheeks and her gorgeous ginger curls. Like other toddlers her age, she is silly and loves to laugh. She doesn’t like to sit still and her mom describes her as “playful,” but Rebecca Phillipson also describes her daughter as a “ray of hope.”
Eve was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), diagnosed when she was still developing in her mother’s womb. CDH occurs when a hole or tear develops in the diaphragm which causes the “the abdominal organs to push into the chest cavity, hindering proper lung formation.” CDH occurs in one in 10,000 births, making the condition very rare. It also is fatal in many cases due to complications from the lungs being essentially crushed.
In most cases of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, babies are born with a hole in their diaphragm but in the case of Eve, she was born without one completely. When the infant was just one week old, she underwent her first operation to replace her missing organ, but the artificial implant failed and Eve’s health began to decline.
There was something that doctors in the U.K. believe would save Eve and it involved another transplant. This time, the surgeons suggested creating an artificial diaphragm out of pigskin. Terrified that they would lose their daughter if they didn’t trust the doctors, the Phillipsons agreed to the surgery.
Head to the next page to see the battles the Phillipsons face…