Landon Joe - North Carolina
I would like to tell you of the most amazing story of the birth of my son Landon Jo Tucker who was born August, 11 2007. My wife, Jody, who was at five months pregnant with our son, became very ill. Jody was not feeling well and became very sick, and had a fever for around five weeks and no one in Salisbury would help us. We both had chosen to go to Northeast before she was pregnant because we felt she would be a high risk because of her being forty years of age with our second child. Our daughter is ten years of age and her name is Destiny Ray. We all were so happy with the news that we were going to have another child, and most of all it was going to be a little boy they told us. I have to stop and first give God all the praise for giving us a perfect little boy.
Jody was five months pregnant, and when her fever would not go away, we contacted Dr. Jill Wagoner at the Women's Center at Northeast. She told us there was nothing we could do, except let the fever run its course and take over the counter meds and to see if that would help. As time went on, Jody was not any better. Archie was tired of seeing his wife go through all she had been and she was very sick at this point.
Sometime around the end of June 2007, Archie called and talked with Dr. Jill Wagoner and told her what was going on. She told us to come on down to Northeast and she would run some tests to see if she could find out what was going on. Jill called in Dr. Garwood who is an infection specialist at Northeast Hospital. After more tests were run, we all thought Jody had rocky mountain spotted fever. As more days passed, she was not getting better, and they still could not find anything wrong. We left the hospital that night and soon as we arrived home, Jody had a high fever again.
Sometime around July 1 2007, we received a call from Dr. Garwood and she said she wanted us to come down to the hospital she wanted to talk with us. Me and Jody went down to the hospital that day and I was very scared for what she may tell us. When we arrived at the hospital she called me and Jody to the back and told us to sit down, she said I have found out what is wrong with you. You have what is called CMV and what this is is a virus that attacks the baby. She said I have a contact with a friend of mine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina who I want you to go and see. She told us the odds of getting this is like being struck by lighting, and only one percent of pregnant women catch this.
We both had never heard of this, and we were both heart broken. We went to see Dr. Metra and Dr. Stubbs, specialists at Carolinas Medical Center a few days later and they told us the news. When we arrived, he told us that from all the past x-rays, that he noticed that in the baby's brain there were some things he did not like of what he was seeing. He told us you have four ventricles in the brain that flow like a river from one to the other. He then told us he noticed some calcium around one of the ventricles and one of the ventricles should be around a size ten, and that our child's was a thirteen.
CMV is a virus that 75% of us are around all the time. The problem is if you are pregnant and you are tested positive for this it is good because the baby has already been exposed to the virus. With us what happened was Jody was five months pregnant and she picked this up from someone, at the grocery store or anywhere while she was out, and passed this on to the baby. The baby had no antibodies so he could not fight the virus off. The positive thing we had going for us was she caught this at five months, rather than having it thru the whole pregnancy. Babies who have this through the whole pregnancy, the outcome is not good. Some babies do not live, and some go blind or lose their hearing. This can happen later after they are born or right away.
Dr. Stubbs and Dr. Metra told us they wanted to draw out amniotic fluid around the baby and test it to make sure he was infected. We did this and the fluid came back negative. We were so happy to get the news this was a positive sign, then we received another call a week later that the doctors wanted to do another test if we would agree to it, because they felt maybe they did not get the CMV virus in the first fluid sample. We went back another time and had this test done and it came back positive. Jody was so far along we new we did not have much time to do anything, and whatever we would choose to do, would this be the right choice.
Dr. Stubbs and Dr. Metra did some research and came back with a plan. They told us the only chance I can give you that you may have a normal child, is to do this treatment that was found in Italy. The doctors tried to get this drug from Italy, but could not get it here because of the Food and Drug Administration had not approved the use of it here. Dr. Metra told us he would find something that would be close to it here in the USA. We received a call from Carolinas Medical Center that the drug was in, and for us to come down and receive it. We were running out of time so we needed to do this ASAP.
We had around two months left before he would be born. The drug we received was called Gancyclovir, it is a antiviral drug treatment for Cytomeglovirus. My wife Jody would be the first person in Charlotte at Carolinas Medical Center to receive this treatment. We went down there and were there around twelve hours that day. The hospital staff ran this in with a slow drip, through an IV line into Jody. She was monitored through the whole process of this treatment. We left the the hospital that night around midnight.
After around five weeks later, we went back to Northeast Hospital for an ultrasound, and Dr. Metra looked into the baby's brain and told us he liked what he had seen. He said he seen that the ventricle in the babies head had changed to normal size, and that there were no signs of calcium inside the babies head. We were so thankful to God first of all and so thankful to Dr. Garwood at Northeast, and also to Dr. Metra and Dr. Stubbs at Carolinas Medical Center. We knew now things were looking up and we were on the right track. The doctor told me the cost of this treatment could be ten to twenty thousand dollars, but we wanted to move forward and do this because you can't put a price on a child's life.
On August 11, 2007 at 2:00am in the early morning hours, our son Landon Joe Tucker was born at Northeast Hospital. He weighted nine pounds, and was delivered by Dr. Linda Bresnahan of the Concord women's specialty center on the campus of Northeast Hospital.
Landon is doing great now. His blood test after he was born did come back that he was positive with the CMV, but there are no signs of it that doctors can find. Jody's placenta was sent off to California for study, to see what affect the new drug had on the whole process. He was born by c-section and did very good after birth.
He is a true miracle, and we hope that there will be many other women and children that will benefit from this in the future. Landon will be monitored for the first few years of his life to keep a close watch on his progress and how he is doing.
I want to take a moment to thank first my lord Jesus Christ for giving me a little boy and for his healing power that he gave to us through all of this, and second the many prayers we received from my church, Bible Missionary Baptist, as well as First Baptist Church of Salisbury, First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury and to all our family and friends through all the hard times we faced.
- Shared by his father, Archie