Newborn and Family Return to KC After High Risk Spina Bifida In Utero Surgery and Three Months Stay in Houston

Lee’s Summit, Missouri (August 6, 2013) – After Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston performed the delicate in utero [at 25 weeks] surgery, Kalyn and Steve Gillespie welcomed “Baby Grant” at 35 weeks. This surgery greatly reduces the risks and defying some disabling birth defects of the spine. The opening on Baby Grant’s spine was closed during this unpredicted and risky surgery. This fetal surgery for spina bifida greatly reduces the need to divert fluid from the brain, improves mobility and improves the chances that Baby Grant will be able to walk independently and hopefully avoid common birth defects of the central nervous system.

Kalyn (Dial) and Steve Gillespie, both native Kansas Citians, always thought Kansas City would be called home. But after three years of marriage including Steve’s deployment, a year of active duty, numerous moves and two young boys, Steve and Kalyn finally settled into their new home in New Mexico where Steve is employed. Upon their arrival to Las Cruces, New Mexico they found out they were pregnant with their third child.

By April they were anxious to learn the sex of their baby. At 19 weeks the ultrasound showed a baby boy, Grant Michael, but also some concern. The shape of Baby Grant’s head along with a small cyst on his spin were just the beginning of their worries. Soon after, they would head to Houston for the rare in utero surgery. Their two boys, Colin (3) and Andrew (1) would be staying with Kalyn’s sister in Kansas City, while Kalyn spent the next three months in Houston on out-patient modified bed rest in hopes she would not go into pre-term labor.

“I had not been away from the boys for more than two days so this has been very emotional. I tried to mentally prepare myself that this would be a short time away and sacrifice we all had to endure to see that we were giving Grant the best opportunity to survive and the possiblility of a normal life. I am incredibly thankful for the outpouring of support, prayers and love during this time.” Said, Kalyn.

Steve Gillepsie has endured being away from his family during three deployments to Iraq and one to Afganistan but this may have been his toughest challenge yet. “I found myself having to chose between seeing my wife in Houston or the boys in Kansas City. It has been incredibly hard being away from them due to work, let alone scheduling last minute travel arrangements. Although it has been very difficult I am so grateful and humbled just to get a chance to see them smile.” Said, Steve.

Kalyn’s sister and brother-in-law, Courtney and Pat Nussbeck are preparing, “Grant’s Cause”, a 5k run, Saturday, September 21st at Joel Dean Hitt Park in Greenwood, Missouri. All proceeds will go directly towards Grant’s ongoing care.

About Spinabifida Spina bifida is the most common birth defect of the central nervous system, affecting about 1,500 babies born each year in the United States.

For Press Inquiries Courtney Nussbeck 816-645-4797

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