Our son Maxton was diagnosed with left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) at his 19 week ultrasound. Maxton was born on 3/3/09 at Vanderbilt University. He fought hard for 18 days but earned his wings on 3/21/09. Maxton was an inspiration to many during his brief time on earth and has forever changed our lives. If your child is diagnosed with CDH, please feel free to contact us. Maxton may no longer live here on earth, but he will live forever in our hearts...

To start at the beginning of our story click here and scroll all the way to the bottom.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Today we went in for Maxton's autopsy. It has been 4 months today since my angel grew his wings, so it was an especially hard day. We learned that I was wrong (Thank GOD!) and that there was no underlying blood clotting issue. Unfortunately, during Maxton's repair surgery his liver was lacerated, twice. It is believed that due to this laceration Maxton's crit levels plummetted early on the 21st. I had posted that they were hoping that the bleeding would eventually swell his abdomen enough to clot, which it likely did. Unfortunately, this was a double edged sword, as it caused so much pressure to be put on his bowel that it ended up killing his bowel. Because his bowel had died, his other organs and blood and things went into overdrive and tried to fix the problem, but ultimately caused all of his systems to fail. My poor baby bled... from basically every organ he could possibly bleed from. It was very hard to hear this. I saw the word "hemorrhage" too many times in that autopsy report. We know that his doctors did the best they could, but it is hard to not second guess our decision to have him here. It's hard to not imagine- what if? The doctors did tell us that at one time (I am assuming the Friday after he is born when we almost lost him) it was thought that he was "unrepairable". I smiled when he said this. He kind of stared at me, but as a mother i was SOOO proud. My baby proved them wrong- at least to me he did. They thought he would never make it to the repair, yet he did. I laughed and said he was one tough little guy and the doctors certainly agreed.

My mind is in overdrive tonight, so I don't really feel like writing much more, but did want to let everyone know just what happened... no matter how sad/unfortunate it was. Thanks for thinking of us.

On another note- I have a job in Ky as an elementary special ed teacher. :-)


Fer said...


Jennifer said...

That's so sad to hear! But Max did put up a good fight! Our thoughts will continue to be with you and David.

And congrats on the job!

bobdoble said...

It's hard to know what the 'right' things are to do when it comes to our children. We just have to know in our hearts and by the power of God helping us, that we are making the right decisions. We will always live with the 'what ifs' and as hard as it is, we can't. Max is such a strong little guy that has touched so many hearts. He will always be with you as the Angel that he is! Thankyou for sharing your journey, and allowing us to be a part of your lives, even through Blog world!! :)

Tina said...

I am so sorry for you. It must have been so hard for you to sit there listening to them talk about your sweet boy like that. I hope you find some peace in your heart today.
P.S. Congrats of the job!!

Jaime's World said...

First of all, Congrats on the job, I'm very happy for you!
Also, I'm glad, too, that Maxton didn't have a bleeding issue...I know first hand the difficulties of children with clotting issues.
Next, I'd like to extend my deepest sympathy, as I know today was very hard for you. Please do not second guess yourself, you did what you thought was best for your little guy. Not only was he a fighter, but think of how much he taught the medical team caring for him.
I wish you the best in KY. (How far away from Cincinnati are you, we'd love to meet you in person when we're down there for one of our visits?)

Bree said...

Oh Ashley, it pangs me to think about you having to sit in that meeting and hear those things about your precious baby. I'm so sorry. Please know I'm thinking of you. I know that the 4 months mark was very difficult for my husband and I. I hope you're hanging in there. Congrats on the new job. Acquiring a teaching job in this economy is like winning the lottery. I sent you an email- I hope you got it. Love to you!

Craig and Kristi Kuehl said...

I'm so sorry Ash. I don't even know what to say to make it better. Please don't second guess any decisions you made. You are not psychic and had no way of knowing. Max knows how much you wanted and loved him and you did nothing wrong. I love you :)

Ashworth Family said...

I'm sure it's nice to have all the information, but how difficult it must have been for you to read those words. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Congratulations on your job and best of luck with your move :)

Sue mom to Emily LCDH 1-22-08 said...

I followed Maxton's journey through CDH, but don't remember if I posted. I just wanted to say 'thank you ' for sharing this final information about his life. How difficult it must have been to hear & read. You are very couragous. Max has a wonderful mother.
Congratulations on the job!


Dotty, lcdh mom to zach said...

sending my thoughts to you , i am sure you are emotionally drainned from that. thank you for your openness to share with us. we will keep you in our thoughts. God Bless!!

Elizabeth said...

Oh - a huge hug to you both. Yes Maxton was a fighter and defiant! It helps to know the reason - Miss C - hemmorage - lungs.

I will leave you with something that I told her surgeon shortly after she died about her but it is true of Maxton too.

Maxton always had wings, we mere mortals just couldn't see them.

(Wonderful news on the Job!)

Marion said...


I was thinking of you all day yesterday! I am glad to hear that there was not an underlying blood disorder, but sad to hear what happened. Maxton is very proud of you and David for enduring that meeting yesterday! You are a very strong person! Congratulations on the Job!!!

The Griffin Family said...

Hey there Ashley! I haven't really commented to you much, but I've been able to read and follow your blog. I'm so sorry for what you've been through, but you have been an encouragement to me. Only God knows our days, he has laid them out before us and we can't understand the whys. Be encouraged and have peace! I'm sure you're going to be so successful in KY. :)
Claire Griffin
"The other Max's momma"

Baby K Mama said...

I am glad you finally have the results and hope it helps you. It is so sad to hear that the issues came bc of surgery. :( But he did put a good fight!!

And congrats on the job- i'm searching as well!!