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Parents give back to community to celebrate one year after infant's successful in-utero surgery

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BATON ROUGE - Imagine, as a parent, knowing your child's life is in danger before taking its first breath of air.

That's what Kenyatta and Derek Coleman went through slightly over a year ago when they found out their baby girl, Denver Coleman, would be diagnosed with Vein of Galen malformation, which is a flaw in a crucial blood vessel in the brain.

That diagnosis was made at Women's Hospital in Baton Rouge. After months of research and communication with several doctors, Kenyatta and Denver would go into surgery at the Boston Children's Hospital. This surgery would be the first in utero surgery of its kind in America and the second in the entire world.

Their prayers were answered. Denver's surgery was a success. Two days later, she was born.

Most babies with a rare disease like this, go through numerous treatments throughout their entire life. “In the immediate newborn period, she was very stable and didn’t need any of the immediate treatments that they typically need, whether it’s placing coils or whether it’s supporting her heart function with medications,” said Louise Wilkins-Haug, Denver's doctor. “Our hope is that she won’t need any further coils placed.” 

Denver is now completely done with treatment just eight months later.

Now that Denver is healthy and thriving, her family wanted to give back to the community that stuck by their side and supported them throughout the entire pregnancy.

"We started our efforts doing breakfast at the Women's Wellness Center where we provided their pediatric patient therapists with breakfast just to thank them for their services that they provide to medically fragile kids," said Kenyatta Coleman. "On top of that, we also came here to the Women's NICU team, to provide them with both lunch, and essentials for NICU families and babies."

The family also visited Pediatrust Pediatric Medical Daycare in Denham Springs, a daycare for medically fragile children, and brought them all teddy bears.

This was supposed to be a one day event, but grew tremendously. They still have more hospitals to visit coming up Monday.

Today marks the one year anniversary for Denver's surgery, but Sunday marks one year of life for the miracle child.


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