PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Against all odds, the 8-week-old daughter of a Washington state representative is not only alive — but thriving.
Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler‘s daughter Abigail Rose was born three months early, without developed kidneys. Her chances of surviving looked bleak. But the congresswoman said that’s changing.
“She’s doing wonderful, better than anyone expected,” said Rep. Herrera-Beutler (R-Wash.). “She is smiling and laughing, and we are practicing breast-feeding. It’s going alright.”
Herrera-Beutler was only recently able to hold her 8-week-old daughter. Abigail Rose is believed to be the first baby ever to survive what’s known as “Potter’s Syndrome.”
Beutler and her husband Daniel recently gave an update on Abigail’s condition from the Stanford hospital where she’s being treated. Her condition is associated with a lack of amniotic fluid, which is crucial to lung development.
Because of it, she’s on dialysis — and will eventually need a kidney transplant.
“She has outpaced where she should be as a premature baby,” said new dad Daniel Beutler. “And really, except for not having any kidneys, she’s really a healthy baby. She’s eating a lot, growing every day, breathing on her own — all the things we were told would be problems.”
One thing that’s not a problem is Abigail’s strong personality.
Herrera-Beutler said the little one lets them know when she’s not happy, such as a recent moment when Abigail screamed during a diaper change.
“She wanted us to know we were in her space,” the representative said. “So we swaddled her back up, and she was out like a light.”
Herrera-Beutler said word of her daughter’s gumption isn’t entirely unexpected: “The Speaker [of the House, John Boener] called me last week and I shared with him that story, and he said ‘I wonder where she gets that from?'”
Abigail is expected to receive a kidney transplant when she’s about 12- to 18-months-old. Her parents are hoping she’s strong enough to return home with them in a few weeks.