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“The Miracle That Saved Adrianna’s Life…” 

The lead story to this newsletter talks about one side of medical technology.  The bad side.  But, as you already know… there are always two sides to every story…

In this fascinating story, you will discover the other… wonderful side.  A side that saved a life and made a dream come true.

Here’s the story:  On the surface, Adrianna may appear to be just like every other 12-year-old.  But she is NOT.  Not by a long shot.

Besides the fact that Adrianna is considered academically gifted because she scores in the 95th percentile on standardized tests… she is also “gifted” in another… even more important area of her life.

And it all started back in February of 1994.  That’s when Adrianna’s mother, Toni, began to go into labor.  This may sound like nothing special to you, but to Toni it was.  You see, Toni was only 5 months pregnant…

Only A Pound And A Half…

When Adrianna was born at 6:10 that evening, she only weighed 24 ounces.  Her skin was described as “translucent” and her heart beat was so weak it was barely detectable.

Adrianna’s APGAR score (which is used as a gauge of the general health of a newborn) was only a 1.  The normal score for a newborn is 7.

And even worse… two hours after her birth, the doctors gave little Adrianna only a 50% chance to live.

A specialist from Temple University, Dr. Thomas Shaffer, was called in to work on Adrianna with Dr. Jay Greenspan.  These two doctors had been working on a revolutionary new technique called liquid ventilation.  And they proposed the idea to Adrianna’s mother, Toni.

They described liquid ventilation as a breathable fluid that could help Adrianna breathe easier.  The breathable liquid is made of perflurocarbons that carry more oxygen than blood and… in many ways… are similar to amniotic fluid.

If perfected, it is believed that you could be totally submerged in this liquid and still be able to breathe.  But more important – if it is put directly into a baby’s lung – it produces a better and easier environment for the baby to breathe than respirators.

This is like true science fiction.  Once the infant has this liquid in her lungs… even though she is out in the open… she will not breathe air.  She will breathe this special fluid!

Adrianna’s mother was skeptical.  Like I just said… this all sounded like science fiction.  And she did not want to risk the life of her baby for some new, experimental procedure.

But… when Adrianna’s condition was downgraded from a 50% chance to live to 5%… she changed her mind.

The Moment That Made Medical History…

Dr. Greenspan injected Adrianna’s tiny lungs with this special liquid… and… within one hour… Adrianna’s condition started to improve.  Hospital tests indicated a complete turnaround in her condition.  Her blood pressure was now normal and her tiny heartbeat stabilized.

To make a long story short – Adrianna is now a gifted 12-year-old.  But the story doesn’t end there…

Liquid ventilation has not received the funding it needs and is not available for most premature babies.  One of the pioneers of this technique, Dr. Thomas Shaffer, states, “We can have 70 percent of babies weighing less than 750 grams survive, instead of 30 percent.”

Shaffer and Temple University Hospital are currently fighting to receive the funding necessary to complete the research that will lead to FDA approval.  So far, Shaffer has treated and saved the lives of 12 prematurely born children.

And Adrianna’s mother, who is now a neonatal care nurse, shares Dr. Shaffer’s frustration.  Here’s what she said in the June, 2006 issue of Reader’s Digest, “When I see a baby in severe respiratory distress, I can’t help but wonder what could be.  I just refuse to believe that liquid ventilation will never have a place in neonatal care.  All we went through has a purpose…

…Adrianna has a purpose.”

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