Thursday, February 21, 2013

MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS - Christina Smith-Stembler

Christina Smith-StemblerChristina Smith-Stembler

My name is Christina, I am Mother to 4 children. My 3rd child, Hunter was diagnosed with Left side CDH at 20 weeks gestation. Before the diagnosis, I was full of joy that I was having my first Son, after, I was full of worry. Hunter was born in 2008, full term with less than 10% chance of survival, and survived LCDH(Left Sided Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia), 10 days on ECMO, Initial replacement of missing diaphragm with synthetic NeoPrene patch, Breathing Machines, pulmonary hypertension, Stroke, No Pericardial Sack, RSV, Repair to diaphragm Patch, Bowel Blockage, Bowel Reconstruction, Months of IV antibiotics, Lovenox Shots to dissolve blood clot in heart, Low Weight and Size, Still being fed by G-Tube, (WEEK OF APRIL 13TH, 2012 HUNTER TOOK HIS FIRST FOOD BY MOUTH) Physical, Occupational and Feeding Therapy Daily and through all of this, he looks at me and brightens every room with his smile, he has remained happy and strong, he has even taught me the meaning of the words miracle, strength and humility. Hunter is my hero and stronger in spirit than anyone I have ever known! He is now 4 years old and attends a preschool with other special needs children. He has come so far and I am so proud to be his Mother. Overall, Hunter spent 45 days in NICU, several other hospital stays and approximately 10 surgeries. He has 2 Big Sisters, Danielle 21 (Dating a CDH Survivor), Codee 17, and a baby Brother, Hayden 2. Hunter's condition, in a weird way, has made us stronger as a family (The Stembler Six Pack) and has taught us lessons we will never forget! He is the reason I became Washington State Rep and Oregon Co-Rep for CHERUBS. I wanted other families to know that there is someone here for them, someone that they can depend on and a little boy that can provide some light in the darkness of CDH.

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