My daughter has diaphragmatic hernia

Essay on Informative Speech

Speech 107

Montgomery College – Rockville

Jocelyn Bautista




Twenty years ago, at  the age of 2, my daughter Melissa was diagnosed of diaphragmatic hernia that could have cost her life, if God was not on  our side.

What is Diaphragmatic Hernia. 

It is a birth defect in which there is an abnormal opening in the diaphragm , the muscle that helps us breath. The opening allows part of the organs from the belly :   the stomach, the  spleen  the  liver and the intestines, to go up into the chest cavity which causes  the lungs not to develop properly.

To  my inexperienced eyes, the intestines of Melissa  looked like spaghetti noodles hanging  and clinging  in her diaphragm when the doctor showed us the x-ray results.

What cause diaphragmatic hernia? –It is caused by the improper joining of structures during fetal development.

Weak at the knees was how I felt when the doctor told us that she could have a heart attack anytime. She was very lucky,  the attack did not come soon. At 2 years old, all her intestines were outside of the stomach area, crowding the lungs and the heart.

Symptoms of Diaphragmatic Hernia:

The baby is bluish colored skin due to lack of oxygen; she has rapid breathing; and she has fast heart rate.

I was wondering when she was growing up, her skin  has the color of violet, as compared to her  brother who  is  fair skinned.

I was Polyhydramnios when I was pregnant with Melissa


Test and Diagnosis –

The pregnant mother may have excessive amount of amniotic fluid. 

When I was carrying Melissa in my body,  my tummy  was so big,  that during the time of delivery, the pain to the side of my tummy was so intense as if the muscle would  tore  apart, that I did not recognize  the pain caused by the child wanting to get out. I thought at one point my body  would  burst.  That is how much fluid I had  in my stomach.

The Ultra Sound Test

About six months  into my pregnancy, my doctor asked me to undergo ultra sound testing because she was worried about the quantity of my amniotic fluid. She suspected something else, but she did not tell me.  Hydrocephalus. A very good friend, more than a  doctor, she stayed with me all through out.

A constant guest at the hospital

We were at the hospital for pulmonary infection on the lungs of Melissa when they  found out  her disease. Since birth, we were always at the hospital for cough, fever and lung infection.   At 8 lbs at birth, she did not grow normally. She was small for  her age;  she  was light as a feather.

Emergency Surgery  is  the only remedy

Surgery is the only remedy for diaphragmatic hernia. The procedure is to place the abdominal organs into the proper position and repair the opening in the diaphragm.

It took six straight hours for the surgeon to fix Melissa.

How did Melissa get the disease?

Pollution in Metro Manila – Philippines –

MANILA –  A lawmaker expressed alarm and concern over the increasing deaths in Metro Manila of as many as 14 people a day, mostly children, due to unmitigated air pollution and other environmental degradation.

In Manila, on a 636 square kilometer live more than 10 million inhabitants.  Manila has proven to be lethal to its millions of residents, killing thousands every year due to pollution.

Just theory  but scientifically correct

Could be the pollution in Metro Manila was  the  cause, I don’t know. What I know, my daughter had diaphragmatic hernia diagnosed when she was two years old, long enough to collapse the lungs and the heart,  but lucky enough that it did not.

Today, at 22, my very lucky child, in gratitude for the lease of life,  is happy   serving our Church; the Faith we both hold dear in our hearts.

Thanks be to God!


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