Living With Conditions A Timely Diagnosis
I honestly knew nothing about newborn screenings or rare disorders until my daughter, born July 6, wouldn’t wake up to eat even with ice packs held to her feet, couldn’t kick jaundice, and was not gaining weight. The doctor tried to tell me I needed to feed every hour if I wanted to keep breastfeeding and then told me I needed to just give her formula. I knew something was wrong and that it wasn’t anything to do with our feeding. A few days later, we ended up at Scottish Rite because her newborn screening blood work came back as having a critical level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (her level was 198 and normal range is 0.5-4). It turns out she has congenital hypothyroidism.
It was her newborn screening at the nursery that gave doctors a real idea of what was wrong. Research shows that mental delays begin to form if a baby goes 2 weeks without treatment.
Because of newborn screening, my daughter is now 2 months old, takes daily medication for her thyroid, and is thriving!
By Scarlette Shirley