Rare birth defect treated at Johns Hopkins All Children's

What's Right With Tampa Bay

- Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital is leading the charge to help save babies born with a life threatening birth defect. 

Tiffany Mountain's daughter, Darci was only 30-hours-old when she had her first surgery. 

"This is the chest tube scar and this is the scar from her repair," Tiffany said, describing her daughter's surgery marks. "I think this scar looks gorgeous." 

Darci suffers from congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

"A birth defect were the diaphragm doesn't form normally," explained her doctor, Dr. David Kays. "Kids maybe born with lungs half the size of normal or a third the size of normal."

Tiffany says her baby girl's condition was discovered after a full body scan in Michigan.

"They were like that she has maybe a 25-percent chance of survival, but really her survival would be a miracle," Tiffany said.

She joined a support group that led her to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"Her being here right now is a miracle, and finding him was a miracle," Tiffany added.

One in 3,500 babies are born with this birth defect every year.

"We are really good at this and we have gotten smarter, knowing who should have surgery at this time and who should have surgery at that time. That's a really important concept in all this," Dr. Kays explained.

A concept that has produced a 90-percent success rate at the hospital.

"At the end of the day, we believe that everyone of these babies can survive and so that belief that the babies can survive is really important in guiding them through the therapy," Dr. Kays said.

"You spend three months here so that they can have a lifetime. So, it is worth it," Tiffany said.

Time that has changed her family forever.

"She's such a blessing," Tiffany said.

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