Noel Williams is the mom to Aidan Michael Williams. Aidan was born June 6, 2006 and passed away on June 18, 2006. He was with us for 12 days. We first learned about Aidan’s condition at our 18-week ultrasound. He had Left-Sided Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia – also known as CDH. His stomach, spleen, liver and small portions of both his small and large intestines had entered his chest cavity through his hernia. After a doctor recommended amniocentesis we were told that Aidan had no other birth defects that would alter the doctors course of treatment or his already poor prognosis. After much research, my husband and I visited CHOP, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital located at NY Columbia Presbyterian. At 21 weeks I went into pre-term labor and spent a week in the hospital and the remainder of my pregnancy on bed rest. I delivered Aidan at 38 weeks and even though we were told this would happen, it was still a shock to realize that he was not breathing. The doctors immediately rushed Aidan into the emergency NICU on the labor and delivery floor and stabilized him on a ventilator. The morning following Aidan’s birth the doctor’s woke me around 6 a.m. to get my consent to place Aidan on ECMO. He had had a rough night and they were having trouble stabilizing him. When Aidan was 5 days old Dr. Marc Arkovitz, Principal Investigator for the DHREAMS Study at Columbia University Medical Center successfully performed Aidan’s repair surgery. Over the next several days Aidan slowly began to stabilize and the doctors recommended removing Aidan from ECMO when he was 10 days old. They worried about the side effects of having him stay on ECMO any longer than that and they hoped that he would be stable enough to be placed on a ventilator. The night he came off of ECMO began our downhill battle of trying to get him stable. The doctors tried everything from an oscillating ventilator to a conventional ventilator to help stabilize Aidan. On June 18, Father’s Day my husband and I were allowed to finally hold our son. He passed away peacefully in our arms.
I currently live in Islip, NY with my husband and our son Gavin. Gavin is a happy and healthy little boy who will be starting Kindergarten in September. I say every day that Gavin was a gift to us from Aidan; getting pregnant so soon after losing Aidan and caring for this amazing little boy helped get me through the most difficult time in my life. I work full time as a Financial Consultant. I love spending as much time as possible with my family. I also love gardening, reading and anything to do with arts and crafts, I scrapbook, crochet, quilt and counted cross-stitch. I serve as a CHERUBS New York State Co-Representative as well as the Grant Committee. I have found both friendship and solace within this amazing group of people. I am blessed to have found Cherubs and I love every minute I spend helping Save the Cherubs.