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Husband of U.S. Congresswoman Donates Kidney to Save Their Baby Daughter's Life

Husband of U.S. Congresswoman Donates Kidney to Save Their Baby Daughter's Life

A baby daughter of a Washington state Congresswoman has been given a second chance at life after the baby’s father donated one of his kidneys to help her survive. reports that Abigail, the daughter of U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and her husband, Dan, was born with the usually fatal Potter’s Syndrome, a condition that prevents a child’s kidneys from developing properly.

Before Abigail was born, the Beutlers said doctors suggested aborting her due to the fatal condition. But Dr. Jessica Bienstock, a perinatologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was willing to try an unconventional procedure to save Abigail’s life. Because of that surgery's success, Abigail is the only known surviving child with Potter’s Syndrome.

The trials weren’t over after her surgery, however. Abigail had to remain in the hospital for about five months before her parents could take her home. The Beutlers had to wait until Abigail was big enough so that she could receive a kidney transplant.

Both Jaime and Dan were matches for Abigail and thus possible donors, but Dan insisted he be the one to give up one of his kidneys for Abigail, especially since Jaime is now pregnant with their second child.

“I wanted to help,” Dan told People magazine. “I wanted to do everything I could to make her life better.”

It has now been two months after the operation and both father and daughter are doing well. 

“In fact, I feel like Abigail has more energy than ever! And I never thought that was possible, but she surprises us everyday,” Herrera Beutler said. “We did have to go snatch her from death. I know we’re really blessed because the right things fell into place for us, and now other children get to benefit.”

The Beutlers want to tell their story to give other parents hope, and to let them know that there are other options than abortion.

Publication date: April 20, 2016