Jacob LeBlanc – Congenital Hemi- Pelvectomy
In March of 2002, my husband and I went to a routine ultrasound which would later be the beginning of an unexpected journey. We spent a little over 2.5 hours at the appointment where the technician and radiologist checked and doubled checked the baby’s bum area and kept saying that the baby is always sitting. I’m amazed to this day how well they kept their professionalism considering what they could recognize was a limb deficiency. We, on the other hand, thought they were just being thorough.
It was between 8:00 am and 8:30 am the next day when I received a call at home. It was my doctor’s office. He wanted to see me as soon as possible. My day jolted to a stop as I scurried to make arrangements to get to the clinic and to find someone to keep our children. Quickly enough, the arrangements were made. Our neighbor drove us to the clinic where my mother met us and she kept an eye on the kids in the playroom as the nurse suggested. The urgency concerned me. Since I had had a bladder infection for which I needed to be hospitalized, I assumed it must have something to do with that. Besides, why would I think something was wrong with the baby? Things like that only happen to other people.
I waited in the doctor’s office anxious to know what all the fuss was about. My doctor came in, greeted me and obviously understood my anxiousness. He went on to tell me that the baby was a boy and I was very happy about that. He then went on to explain that they were not able to see a second kidney but that anyone can live a healthy life with just one kidney.Then the doctor’s tone of voice changed. I immediately knew something was wrong with the baby. The doctor explained, with so much compassion, that our baby had no pelvis on the right side of the spine, no hip nor leg. (sigh) I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. My doctor then offered the option, although he knew what my response would be, to abort the child if we wanted. There was no decision to make. How dare I decide whether or not this child got to live just because he was missing a leg? When I arrived home, I called everyone who was near and dear to us. Although the emotional pain was intense, we had a peace that surpassed my understanding.Our life had taken a major turn, the fear of the unknown was sometimes overwhelming. Would the baby have scar-like tissue on his body? Would it be obvious on his face that he had a “deformation”? How would we pay for his artificial limb? What about all the appointments? We had so many questions.My doctor then suggested we go to the IWK Hospital in Halifax to have a more precise ultrasound to see if there were any other problems. We made an appointment and they concluded that everything else was fine.For the next 5 months, I grieved the loss of the dream of having another “perfect” baby. For my husband, it didn’t yet seem real.
July 31st 2002 Jacob was born.
I remember just wanting to see his face. When I saw him I fell in love. I never even noticed the deficiency. He was a perfectly healthy baby minus the limb and right side of his pelvis/hip. Now it was my husband’s turn to mourn, yet he too fell in love instantly.We soon came to learn that Jacob was 1 of 7 children in the world born this way and nothing had been officially documented, therefore no “expert” was to be found. We learned how to spell and pronounce words we never had heard of, even today. Jacob still continues to overcome challenges that the medical field thought not “doable”. Jacob will be 11 in July and is beyond the expectations of the medical field.
The bible says, 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”