by Christina Correa, Intern, Old Dominion University
When Suzanne was pregnant with her second son, Jace, the ultrasound showed that he was perfectly healthy. Shortly after his birth, however, Suzanne and her husband, Danny, discovered that Jace had a very rare condition that affects only one in 400,000 children.
Jace, who turned two on December 12, suffers from cloacal exstrophy, also known as OEIS. The abbreviation comes from four common symptoms of the disease: an omphalocele, or protrusion of the intestines near the umbilical cord, exstrophy of the bladder, an imperforate anus, and spinal defects.
Since birth, Jace has had various complications and surgeries and still has many surgeries to come, but the family remains positive and encouraged through it all.
“Through everything, this has been the sweetest time of our lives,” said Suzanne.
Although doctors had believed that Jace would never be able to run or even walk, the little boy is doing both. Despite having OEIS, he is still able to enjoy many of the things that children do, including running, playing, and even wrestling with his three-year-old brother, Ian.