This is my background story on our little boy, Caden. This is an article that was published in our local newspaper that I was asked to write. Hopefully this will give everyone a little insight into our miracle.
When we discovered we were expecting, we were as excited as any young couple would be. At twenty weeks we knew we would be blessed with a little boy whose name would be Caden Robert Burdick. The trouble began at twenty-eight weeks into the pregnancy. One Friday morning I woke up knowing something was wrong. I didn’t wait for an appointment; I went straight to the doctor and told them that I really believed something was not right. Another ultrasound was not due, but the nurse decided to do an ultrasound to give me peace of mind. The ultrasound revealed that Caden’s kidneys and bladder were enlarged. From that point on, my pregnancy was a whirl wind of doctors, ultrasounds, stress tests, every week to make sure Caden was doing okay in the womb. We met with doctors in Montgomery and specialists in Birmingham who explained that Caden could have one of five blockages but that could only be known when he was born. You can imagine the trauma when the doctors mentioned that our little boy might need a kidney transplant, but they would not know for sure until extensive tests could be done when he arrived into this world. At thirty-four weeks, the doctors decided to do an amino test to make sure that nothing else would be genetically wrong with Caden. The doctors were unsuccessful in getting the necessary amino fluid and after three failed attempts, they put me in the hospital for close monitoring of not only me, but Caden. It seemed like everyday brought new decisions to be made and we had to decide whether to deliver in Birmingham or Montgomery. From those consultations, it was decided it would be best to for Caden to enter this world in Montgomery because the doctor thought his problem was not severe and there would be plenty of time to go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
At thirty six weeks my blood pressure was not stable and I was starting to swell which would create stress for our child. So labor was induced and Caden Robert Burdick came into the world on December 29, 2006 at 11:36 p.m. Of course, he was the most precious child that my husband and I had ever laid eyes on.
The morning after he was born tests were run to determine the blockage and the severity. The test results came back more severe than anticipated resulting in us going by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham when Caden was just two days old. Upon arrival to Children’s Hospital he was immediately put into ICU where a catheter was inserted to drain his bladder and the fluid out of his system. The problem was a blockage where his bladder and his urethral tube meet - called Posterior Urethral Valve Blockage – the worst scenario possible! Caden’s bladder was backed up, urination was impossible, causing his bladder to become enlarged. This affected his urethra tubes and kidneys causing permanent damage to his bladder and kidneys. An added problem was reflux in one of his urethra tubes making an infection possible to his kidneys.
At one week old Caden underwent surgery to remove the blockage. The blockage was a flap of skin that did not absorb normally while his body was forming. The doctors assured us that his problem was “severe,” and that it was possible that he would have to undergo a kidney transplant somewhere around his first birthday, and even be on dialysis before that. The official name of his condition is Chronic Renal Insufficiency. For my husband and me, it was a nightmare. We felt that all hope was going down the drain and we almost shut down physically and emotionally. Our thought was that no parent should have to go through such trials when their child is just days old.
The entire process from the first appointment when we knew something was wrong many people started praying for our son. Caden, Quint and I were covered in prayer. People were praying for us from all over the world, from China to Brazil, and all over the USA. We have a strong Christian background, and we totally believe in the power of prayer and the power of miracles. However, sometimes it’s easier to believe in a miracle for someone else than for yourself. The real reality is that faith is the key that unlocks the door and opens up your total spirit to the power of God. We knew God created Caden and we will trust Him to heal him.
The name “Caden” means “Fighter.” Our son has been a little “fighter” throughout this whole process. After the hospital, with Caden doing much better, he has continued to improve everyday. Every appointment brought good news of improvement. At first we went every two weeks, then every four weeks, and now we go every three months for check-ups because he is doing so great. His disease is far from gone. He has only one kidney that functions, the other will wither away over time. The bible says, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made,” so much so that God made it so we could function with just one kidney. In the event that his one good kidney fails to handle the filtering then it is back to square one of needing a transplant. That is reality. But, for now his one kidney is functioning great! To God Be the Glory!
**UPDATE - Since this article was written, Caden had to go ahead and have his right kidney removed. He had reflux in his ureter tube which caused a lot of infections. The doctor had two options. Either remove the whole kidney and tube together and nix any other chance of infections or try to repair the ureter tube. The repairing would have actually be the harder of the two surgeries. After several tests, we found that Caden's right kidney only functioned at 7%, so it was not worth the pain and trouble to repair the tube, it was then the right decision to just remove the right kidney all together. He went in the hospital on August 1, 2008, a Friday morning and WALKED out by himself the very next day less than 24 hours later. God is so good to us!
Below are a few pictures from that hospital stay.
This is the first time I saw Caden after surgery, above.