Greencastle baby healthy after newborn surgery for lung condition

— By PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Gavin Strait visits daughter Kendall after she came out of a two-hour operation to remove part of her lung. She was six weeks old.

First-time parents are nervous enough as it is, but when an infant is diagnosed with a congenital disorder before birth, emotions can ride a roller coaster. Gavin Strait, 28, and his wife Lakin, 25, Greencastle, got some startling news after a routine pregnancy ultrasound. It revealed that their daughter had a cyst on her lung. She had CCAM, congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation, and her care was immediately assigned to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.

"When we first heard what she had we were upset," said Strait. "When we looked it up online, we were more upset. Then we talked to the doctors, who see it a lot, and we felt better."

The condition affects one out of 10,000 births, and physicians at Children's operated on one child a week. Their patients came from around the world.

Kendall was born June 7, weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces. Medical personnel were on standby, prepared for the worst, since the spot was larger than normal.

"They don't know what's going to happen when the baby starts to breathe," Strait said.

Fortunately, Kendall's respirations were regular. Surgery was set for six weeks later. Physicians removed 12 percent of her lung and she went home after a week.

The prognosis is good. Kendall is just like any other baby now, even sleeping well through the night. There are no restrictions on her life, and the lung tissue is expected to regenerate.

"By the time she is in kindergarten, she should have normal lung capacity," said the proud dad.

The couple will bring her in for a check-up at six months, and then once a year. The scary moments behind, they are enjoying their baby.

"She's doing great. And our experience at Children's Hospital was great, too," said Strait.