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Each year, one out of every three infants delivered in the U.S. is born with a birth defect.

Kaitlen Garcia was just 12 weeks pregnant when she received the surprising news that her baby would be among those infants. He was diagnosed with a condition called gastroschisis, a birth defect of the abdominal wall that results in the baby’s intestines developing outside the body. The defect can also include other organs, such as the stomach and liver, being outside the body.

Garcia’s newborn son, Isaiah, was delivered prematurely and taken to St. David’s Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where NICU staff provided the family with comfort and specialized care. St. David’s Medical Center is the only hospital in the Austin area where a mother and her newborn requiring surgery can be cared for in the same facility.

“Four in 1,000 babies are born with Isaiah’s condition,” Dr. Peter Untalan, medical director of the St. David’s Medical Center NICU, said. “Over the course of a week, we were able to gradually introduce the abdominal contents back into Isaiah’s abdomen and close the defect. As a result, he was able to reach full feedings, and he was discharged from the hospital in just 17 days, which is significantly shorter than a usual NICU stay for this type of condition.”

Baby Isaiah is now three months old, and he is home, happy and healthy.

KVUE recently interviewed Dr. Untalan about Isaiah’s story.

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