Morgynn Sydney Ford was born on December 24, 2011, at 5:14 a.m. to Matthew and Melissa Ford. She was born at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital due to expected complications at birth. Morgynn was diagnosed at 20 weeks gestation with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, (CDH). Morgynn was given a 50 percent chance of survival, and it was imperative that she be born at a hospital with the appropriate equipment and technology to handle her severe condition.
According to CHERUBS, The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research, Awareness and Support: “CDH occurs when the diaphragm fails to fully form, allowing abdominal organs into the chest cavity and preventing lung growth growth. CDH occurs in 1 of every 2,500 births; somewhere in the world, a baby is born with CDH every 10 minutes. 50 percent of babies diagnosed with CDH do not survive. The cause is not known. Over a half million babies have been born with CDH since 2000. CDH is as common as Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis but there is very little awareness and even less research.”
Morgynn was truly a fighter from the moment she was born. She came out and showed her strength by grabbing the doctor’s clamps and refusing to let go! She was immediately rushed to the neonatal team for resuscitation, and did fairly well until she developed a pneumothorax (a hole in her lung), for which she had to have two chest tubes placed. The doctors then determined that in order to give Morgynn the best chance at survival she needed to be placed on ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation), basically a lung bypass machine. Morgynn was placed on ECMO on the day of her birth, and remained on ECMO until January 5, 2012. She tolerated ECMO well, even when they had to change the circuit out due to increased clotting in the machine.
Morgynn had surgery to repair the defect in her diaphragm on January 2, 2012, by Dr. Shin Hirosi, an amazing pediatric surgeon. She had her surgery while on ECMO, which is not normally the practice at UCSF due to the risk of bleeding. Dr. Hirosi believed however that doing the surgery while on ECMO may actually help in Morgynn’s case to give room for her right lung to expand and do more adequate air and gas exchange. He was right, the surgery did help. Morgynn’s lungs did expand more after the surgery. She did fairly well after the surgery and recovered well. They decided to remove her from ECMO on January 5, 2012. This was the point where Morgynn would have to show what she could do on only a ventilator. The concern in CDH babies is the high pressure in their lungs due to inadequate growth and development of the blood vessels which puts more strain on the heart and lungs. It was a matter of waiting to see how long her heart and lungs would keep up. Morgynn made it through the night off of ECMO and through the next day until 9:15 p.m., when she went to heaven to be with Jesus peacefully in her mommy’s arms. She was surrounded by her daddy and her grandparents.
The staff at UCSF are truly to be commended for their care of Morgynn during her time with them. We would especially like to thank Dr. Roberta Keller, Dr. Gavin Henderson, Dr. David Rowitch, Dr. Susan Sniderman, Dr. Tippi Mackenzie, Dr. Shin Hirosi, Dr. Lisa Bain, and Dr. Luke Judge. The nurses that work in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) are amazing! They are angels, and full of love and compassion. We would like to thank our angels Erin, Jeannine, Krista, Greta, Anna, and Stephanie.
Morgynn is survived by her parents Matthew and Melissa Ford; siblings Dakota and Marissa Ford; grandparents Jim and Cindy Ford of Crescent City; Veronica Tucker of Crescent City; Gary and Anna Chacey of Albuquerque, N.M. Aunts and uncles Robert Sanchez of Crescent City; Mary Shaw of Crescent City; Terri and Ron Hill of Eureka; Troy Chacey of Crescent City; Chris and Brenda Ford of Medford, Ore.; David and Kelsey Ford of Crescent City; Dawn Ford of Crescent City. Cousins Robert, Alex and Destanee Sanchez, Jordynn, Ricky, and Preslynn Shaw, Jimmee Jessee and John Hill, Michael and Timothy Ford, and Adam, Addison and Jacob Ford.
A memorial service will be held for Morgynn on Saturday, January 21, at 11 a.m. at Redwoods Family Worship Center. In lieu of flowers please feel free to make donations to UCSF Benioff Children’s hospital. You may designate your donation to the fetal treatment center at the following address:
Mail a check payable to the UCSF Foundation/SOM Pediatric Neonatology.
Send checks to:
University of California San Francisco
Attn: Maureen Royer
San Francisco, California 94143-0248
— Submitted by Family