Chase Walter

First post: Feb 5, 2021 Latest post: Mar 2, 2021
Welcome to Chase's Caring Bridge site.  We are using it to keep family, friends and co-workers updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Our sweet baby, Chase,  arrived into this world on 1-31-21 at 7:23pm weighing in at 7lbs 2oz and measuring 20.25 inches long.  The story of how Chase came into this world is not quite as simple as a few dates and numbers.  

In 2017 we decided that we wanted to try to start our family and after two years with no success to conceive naturally, we determined it was time to seek medical assistance.  Early in 2019 we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility, which means there was no explanation as to why this was not able happen naturally for us.  We went through several less invasive procedures that were unsuccessful in 2019.  At the end of that year,  we made the decision to explore the possibility of IVF (In-vitro fertilization).  In March of 2020, during the middle of a pandemic, we began the IVF process and we were successful on our 2nd IVF attempt.  We were overjoyed to finally become parents after such a difficult journey!  

At our 20 week ultrasound the doctors suspected that Chase had a smaller than normal chin and asked that we come back at 28 weeks for more imaging.  After another ultrasound and MRI it was suspected that Chase had a condition called  Mircognathia, which means a small and recessed chin/lower jaw along with underdeveloped and low set ears (Mircrotia).  Due to the suspected multiple facial abnormalities we were referred to the specialists at Children's Minnesota.  Over the next couple of weeks we met with many ENT, genetic, perinatal and neonatal doctors to discuss the delivery plan for Chase.  Due to Chase's micrognathia the main concern was his airway.  Many babies with mircrognathia have a recessed tongue which can block the airway and also cause a cleft palate.  Due to this elevated risk we planned to deliver at Mother Baby Center which is attached to Children's Minneapolis NICU and we would have the NICU staff along with an ENT surgeon at delivery in case Chase needed airway assistance.  Well, thankfully the NICU and ENT staff were present at his birth because Chase was unable to breathe on his own and it took three attempts to successfully gain access to his airway and intubate him.

When Chase was 1 day old he had a CT scan of his head to see the structure and allow the ENT doctors to form a plan moving forward.  The results of the CT showed that Chase is essentially missing his temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on both sides of his jaw.  Therefore, a procedure called Mandibular (jaw) Distraction, which we had been educated on and expected him to have if his airway was compromised, was not an option for him.  So, in order for Chase to be able to breathe better and not have a tube in his mouth and down his throat the best option for him was to have a tracheostomy.  Chase is scheduled to have a trach put in on 2/5/21.  He will also need a feeding tube, but the GI team at Children's would like him to be ~10lbs (probably sometime in Mar 2021) before placing his G-Tube.  Chase will need a trach and a G-Tube before he is even considered to come home.

We don't know if Chase can hear right now, but due to his ear abnormality it does not appear that he can hear at this time.  Audiology will perform hearing tests in the coming weeks to see what options he will have going forward.

At this point we are taking one day at a time and we are focusing on the positives of each day.  We didn’t expect we would face such challenges and we know that life will look a little different for our family and Chase, but we are so thankful to have our sweet baby boy here and we will do everything possible to make sure he thrives.   Thank you all for your prayers and support as we begin to navigate this long  journey ahead!

The staff at Mother Baby Center and Children's Minneapolis NICU have all gone above and beyond to provide our entire family with the best care and support possible! 

We will provide updates on Chase as often as we can here,  we know there are many friends and family keeping our family in their thoughts and prayers.  

Thank you!  - Brandon & Emily

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