Mother recalls infant’s condition, amazing recovery

Child’s improvement triggers support to fight lung disease

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 3/30/22

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Most of Morgan Henderson’s past year has been spent in and out of appointments regarding her daughter Autumn, who was impacted by a rare lung condition.

In mid-2021, …

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Mother recalls infant’s condition, amazing recovery

Child’s improvement triggers support to fight lung disease

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Most of Morgan Henderson’s past year has been spent in and out of appointments regarding her daughter Autumn, who was impacted by a rare lung condition.

In mid-2021, Henderson and her husband Ross, who are from Green Cove Springs, were told their unborn daughter had a mass on her left lung that displaced her heart.

Henderson was told Autumn didn’t develop any fluid around her heart, and she was born on Oct. 13. She thrived in the hospital and was taken home. However, Henderson later observed Autumn having difficulty breathing. She said she knew something wasn’t right.

“When she was born, she breathed fine with no sign of distress. But we noticed trouble breathing,” Henderson said. “She would gasp when eating, kind of like a squeal.”

X-rays and a CT scan determined that Autumn’s condition was Congenital Lobar Emphysema. It lets a person breathe in, but they cannot not exhale all of the air out of their body, essentially trapping air in a lung and moving the heart, Henderson said.

“We looked more in-depth and we knew surgery would happen one day. I knew something wasn’t right. It was in my gut,” Henderson said. “... I was told I wasn’t paranoid. Basically, when she was breathing in, she couldn’t let air out.”

Autumn had surgery removing the infected lung area on Dec. 28 and was released from the hospital just a few days later. Henderson recalled Autumn’s breathing significantly improving, but then the infant and her parents contracted a mild case of COVID-19. They all recovered and Henderson said Autumn’s lung is still healing.

“Now, she’s five months old, gaining weight, hitting milestones,” Henderson said. “She’s thriving really. She’s doing everything like she’s supposed to.”

Henderson described the overall process as overwhelming, between hospital trips and the large amount of support the family received. She encouraged parents going through a similar situation to ask questions, search for answers and reach out.

“We developed a positive attitude and just had to understand things happen for a reason,” Henderson added. “Knowing there’s other people going through the same thing goes a long way.”

The Hendersons are now pivoting toward their team, Autumn’s Flight Crew, at the Fight For Air Climb fundraising event, which will be held at TIAA Bank Field on April 9. Money raised at the Fight For Air Climb will fund the American Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, as well as support the organization’s COVID-19 Action Initiative.

“I think it’ll be fun,” she said. “We’re doing it to honor her and everything she’s been through. We’re just excited.”

More information about registration is available at ClimbJax.org.

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