After nine months of carrying her daughter, Courtney Koslow gave birth to Mae Koslow-Vogel in February 2016. Everything seemed normal and baby Mae appeared to be healthy until doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital realized Mae wasn’t breathing properly an hour after she was born. Mae was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit. Initially, they diagnosed Mae with pneumonia but four weeks later, they found out her condition was much worse.
Mae actually had child interstitial lung disease (chILD). According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, chILD is a broad term for a group of rare lung diseases that have symptoms such as a chronic cough, rapid breathing, and shortness of breath. The disease has only begun to be studied and understood in the last decade.
What they did know for certain is that chILD is genetic. Mae was missing the ABCA3 gene, which helps to create a protein that lines the lungs and makes it easier to breathe properly. This led to Mae being fitted with a trach when she was just six weeks old. She was also put on a ventilator to help her blood get the oxygen it needed.
Speaking to the DailyMail about Mae’s condition, her other parent, Maura Vogel said: “[The diagnosis] felt like a bottomless piece of information in a bottomless disease of no predictability to it of when she could go home. She was on life support, thriving in a lot of ways because of it but she was stuck in the hospital.”
Head to the next page for the heartwarming video of Mae walking out the hospital doors!