My Story

At twenty weeks gestation, our son Christopher was diagnosed with a severe right-sided diaphragmatic hernia.  He was born on July 12, 2012 at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and he was in CHOP's Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit.  We have been amazed at the outpouring of love and encouragement we have received from friends, family, and strangers.  We trust that God will give us the strength and faith to get through these challenges.

Written Apr 24, 2012 8:20pm

Our baby was diagnosed with a right-sided congenital diaphramatic hernia (CDH) on March 9th. Once the shock wore off, our first order of business was to find out who has a lot of experience in caring for these babies. It took about 2 weeks to focus in on CHOP. It was really neat to see all the arrows pointing in the same direction as we heard from many different sources about CHOP.

On April 6th, we had an all day consult that started at 8:30 and ended after 4:30. We had lots of tests and spoke with many people. They were able to answer our questions and concerns. We still had some decisions to make as a couple, but we felt like CHOP was the right place for Christopher to be born. I will be able to deliver him in the maternity ward inside the hospital. The maternity ward is just 3 years old. I will have Christopher in one room and they will pass him to a team of doctors waiting in the room next door - with all the equipment he will need.

I was completely unfamiliar with CDH before our ultrasound. Even when the DR. was explaining it to me, I was thinking that a hernia doesn't sound so bad. I didn't understand that a hernia could be a major deal for a developing baby.

If you would like to contact us, our e-mail address is

If you would like more information about congenital diaphramatic hernia, CHOP has an informative website.

There is also a series of videos describing the course of treatment starting with the diagnosis - for those who are really interested to know more information.

Thanks for coming to our blog. We are using this blog to keep our friends and family informed as we prepare to welcome Christopher.


Angela Riker posted a new journal entry, "A new chapter!".

  It has been so long since our last post.  Christopher is in full toddler glory!  Walking, laughing, learning, talking, climbing, eating, drinking, ... Read more

Valerie D. Canada signed Christopher's Guestbook.

So happy for you with your micacle son and new daughter(my birthday is also Dec 19!)blessings and love from Canadaat Christmas and alwaysValerie D(Angela's friend from gssm) Read more

Sandy Praske signed Christopher's Guestbook.

Christopher is adorable and what a miracle he is.  Congratulations on your newest addition.  A girl!  How exciting.  And now you're not quite so outnumbered by all of ... Read more

natalie testa signed Christopher's Guestbook.

Dear Angela and David, what a perfect Christmas message..Christopher a very normal little boy and a lovely new daughter..We love her names!  Merry Christmas to you and ... Read more

Much love to you all signed Christopher's Guestbook.

Rejoicing with you and your beautiful family :)From Whispers of My Father - A Mother's Prayer (Hannah's Song)  Better have ... Read more

The Koutsandreas Family signed Christopher's Guestbook.

It is with excitement and joy that we welcome dear precious Isabella Evelyn !!  Angela, you and the boys will enjoy having a girl around the house !!!  Watch out Dave, ... Read more

Kathy Xavier signed Christopher's Guestbook.

Dearest Angela, David, John, Jeff, Nate and Christopher,My love goes out to all of you!!  And I share in yourhappiness in welcoming darling Isabella Evelyn toyour ... Read more

Vivian Farley signed Christopher's Guestbook.

Angela and family,So delightful to hear about your new addition - a precious little girl to add to all the maleness in your home!  I'm sure they all will be big brother ... Read more

Mary P signed Christopher's Guestbook.

Welcome to your daughter! those are new words in your vocabulary, right? Enjoy every day. You worked hard for each one. Read more

Angela Riker added a new photo.

natalie testa signed Christopher's Guestbook.

Wonderful news and photos!  We do hope to meet Christopher before his 2nd Birthday!  Hugs to all, Natalie and Frank Read more

Show more recent activity