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Grey's Anatomy to highlight Baton Rouge baby's rare medical case Thursday night

1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago Wednesday, April 03 2024 Apr 3, 2024 April 03, 2024 4:55 PM April 03, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Almost a year after the first-of-its-kind fetal surgery saved a life, ABC's longstanding drama Grey's Anatomy is bringing that Baton Rouge baby's story to the big screen.

During her 30-week ultrasound, Kenyatta Coleman learned that her daughter, Denver, had a rare condition called vein of Galen malformation — a rare blood vessel abnormality inside the brain. Coleman said if the 20-minute surgery wasn't performed in utero, Denver's prognosis would have been grim.

The surgery, which put 23 metal coils inside the malformation, saved Denver's life by slowing her blood flow and relieving the stress on her heart.

Grey's Anatomy approached Coleman in December about featuring Denver's case, which Coleman could not believe.

"Did I read this correctly?" Coleman said, laughing and startled as she recalled the first point of contact.

In January, the two parties made it official and moved forward with the process. Thursday night's episode, titled "Baby Can I Hold You," revolves around Denver's life-saving surgery. The episode will feature ultrasound photos of Denver and clips from the procedure in March 2023. Coleman said the show reached out to and met with Denver's doctor, Darren Orbarch, to understand the details and intricacies of Denver's case.

"We wanted to be advocates for rare conditions such as hers, and honestly, before she was diagnosed, I had no idea it existed," Coleman said. "So, this is like one of those Grey's Anatomy-type episodes when you really think of it."

In an episode trailer released by the show, Grey's Anatomy teases Denver's case — saying that this type of surgery has never been done before.

Coleman attributes Denver's successful surgery to the many families who have attempted the procedure before them as a part of the clinical trial. She hopes Thursday night's episode brings even more awareness to her daughter's condition and the hope that could lie ahead for some families.

"The whole world will be watching, so maybe it'll spark some interested," Coleman said. "Be it catching those who make the decisions in terms of maybe, perhaps, we should offer third-trimester ultrasounds with color doppler to women outside of those that have high-risk markers, and understanding the importance of early intervention and educating the public on the clinical trial that's available for those that qualify to help ... (And) in Denver's case, preserve life."

As little Denver plays with bubbles, holds her teddy bear tightly and waddles across the floor, Coleman looks at her daughter, smiles and laughs, reminiscent of all it has taken to get to this very moment. She's anticipant of how her and her daughter's story will unfold in front of millions on Thursday night, and she is also intrigued to see how Grey's Anatomy will portray her own emotions as a mother going into surgery, with her baby's life on the line.

"No one case is alike," Coleman said. "Where Denver has these really great results, we're really hoping that this reaches the right person who may find themselves in our shoes to let them know that this opportunity could be available for them as well ... We hope that it serves its purpose of making a rare condition less rare."

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