Meet Blake.

Spina Bifida and myelomeningocele

Aric and Megan struggled to start a family for three years before their daughter, Ava, was born. Another daughter, Maci, followed just a few years later. So when the couple found out they were expecting another child, this time a boy, they were thrilled.

But their hearts sank at a regular checkup when they were told that their baby boy, Blake, would be born with myelomeningocele, the most common and severe type of spina bifida. Spina bifida is a neurological condition that can cause a portion of the spinal cord and the surrounding structures to develop outside the body. Babies with spina bifida usually need complex, lifelong care.

Care for babies like Blake is carefully planned out months in advance. It’s part of a team approach that spans multiple specialties—from doctors to nurses to social workers—ensuring these babies get the very best care possible at every stage of their journey.

After receiving Blake’s diagnosis, his family was connected with Nationwide Children’s experts, including a nurse coordinator who helped them prepare.

After Blake’s delivery, he was immediately transported to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Nationwide Children’s. Our transport team, which includes registered nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics or transport technicians and EMT drivers—all specially trained in pediatrics—is a critical part of that care.

At just one day old, Blake underwent surgery to repair the lesion on his back. And three days after his first surgery, Blake had shunt surgery to allow for drainage of spinal fluid.

After 19 days in the NICU, Megan and Aric got to take Blake home.

The Momphers return to Nationwide Children’s for follow-up appointments in the Myelomeningocele Clinic, which include visits with a developmental pediatrician, a urologist, an orthopedist, a neurosurgeon, an occupational and a physical therapist and other services.

This multi-team approach delivers coordinated care with the expertise of numerous specialties, all working together to benefit our patients and their families.

Today, Blake is a happy, growing three-year-old.

“As I got to know Blake’s doctors and nurses before his birth, I knew we were in good hands. But once Blake arrived, his team exceeded every one of our expectations. We are incredibly grateful,” says Megan.

Blake's Story
Blake's Photos
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