WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, PA (WPMT/CNN) - An 8-month-old baby, who was born without an anus, is now home with his parents and twin brother after a long hospital stay and seven surgeries.
When Andrew Kuhn and Katie Faulkner welcomed twin boys Jamison and Jackson in July 2018 through C-section, they knew immediately something wasn’t right.
"I saw that they were examining one of the babies. They took him away, and a bunch of doctors were surrounding," Kuhn said.
Finally, a doctor pulled Kuhn to the side, as Faulkner was recovering from surgery, and broke the news that Jackson had been born with an imperforate anus. The condition is a rare one in which the normal opening of the anus is absent, which may leave a baby unable to eliminate feces without surgery.
Twenty-four hours after his birth, doctors transferred Jackson to Johns Hopkins for better equipped care, but after five months, the family was told their insurance wasn’t accepted. Jackson was forced to transfer to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a 2-hour drive from his home.
Seven surgeries later, Jackson’s parents have been left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
“We're trying to catch up,” Kuhn said. "You feel depressed and stressed out. Every day you're thinking what's going to happen next and what bill is going to come in the mail next.”
After 8 months in the hospital, Jackson went home, but he still has a tough road ahead. The baby has a colostomy for his stool, a central line for his nutrients and a G-tube for formula, his mother says.
Though Kuhn and Faulkner say the past year has been difficult, they are both just happy that Jackson is finally home.
"Just seeing his smiling face every day home with us beats any bill," the parents said.
A GoFundMe set up for the family has raised more than $5,000.
About one in 4,000 to 5,000 newborns in the United States are affected by an imperforate anus and other related abnormalities of the anus and rectum, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
The birth defect usually appears to occur randomly for unknown reasons but, less commonly, may be familial in nature.