When a pregnant woman went for her first ultrasound, she started filming … but her doctor told her to stop, and announced some bad news. Despite the news, she refused to abort the child, and now years later, she couldn’t be happier with her decision to save her baby.
Jessica and Frank Capitani, of Derry Township, were excited when Jessica was expecting. When Frank and her mom accompanied her during her ultrasound, they couldn’t wait to film the baby and show the good news with the rest of the family. After learning that “It’s a boy!” the doctor urged them to turn off the camera.
“When I heard that, it was just an instant shot of adrenalin—why would he say that?” Jessica recalled her reactions to Penn Live. “He told us they found three things of concern; the first was hydrocephalus. I didn’t hear anything else. I just broke down; I couldn’t stop crying.”
The two other things that the doctor noticed was an enlarged abdomen and cardiac calcifications, which could mean the baby has Down syndrome, and this was later confirmed by an amniocentesis.
Since then, the couple met up with many doctors, who suggested they either abort, or put their baby up for adoption after he’s born.
But Jessica said: “I just couldn’t imagine myself going for an abortion. I could feel him kicking!”
When the baby boy was born, Jessica was relieved her child looked healthy, despite his 16 medical conditions, including asthma, recurrent ear infections, hypothyroidism, floppy airways, reflux, and bowel issues.
Named Caden, the couple soon noticed that he was a fighter, just like his name, which means “fighting spirit” in Gaelic.
“The first couple of years, medically, were tough because he had a lot of conditions we didn’t know about prenatally and everything revolved around him and trying to get him the help he needed,” Jessica said.
But some of the medical issues have resolved on their own as Caden grew older, such as his bowel issues.
The couple also saw that Caden has a vibrant social personality and makes friends easily.
“There’s a joy about Caden. He spreads smiles and he makes people feel good to be around him,” Jessica said.
Caden’s pediatrician, Dr. Kathryn Crowell of Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, also commended his personality: “He’s a joy; he’s got a smile that lights up his whole face. He’s always in a good mood, even when he doesn’t feel well, and his joy spreads to everyone around him.”
Frank described how having Caden in his life changed him.
“The diagnosis blindsided me. The child I was expecting was gone, and I struggled to accept that our lives would not be what we had dreamed. Today Caden is the joy of my life. He has taught me patience, opened my heart and changed my perspective on success and happiness.”
It’s such a relief that Caden’s parents stood by him during his most vulnerable time at birth. To see his smile, and to know how he positively affects those around him, is such a blessing worth cherishing.
Watch the video here:
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | PennStateHershey.