WHEREAS, a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) is characterized by the abnormal development of the diaphragm before birth, resulting in defects ranging from a thinned area in the diaphragm to its complete absence; and
WHEREAS, an absent or partially formed diaphragm results in an abnormal opening (hernia) that allows organs to migrate through the hole and crowding the chest cavity, and ultimately may cause the infant’s lungs to be small and underdeveloped; and
WHEREAS, one in every 2,500 pregnancies are diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia; and
WHEREAS, over 1,600 newborns are affected by CDH in the United States every year with only a 50% survival rate; and
WHEREAS, CDH is as common as spina bifida and cystic fibrosis; however, very few people know about it or are aware of it; and
WHEREAS, those with CDH often endure multiple surgeries and possible medical complications beyond their diagnosis including pulmonary complications, gastric and intestinal problems, and developmental delays, and at times require long-term respiratory and medicinal support; and
WHEREAS, raising awareness of this congenital defect will help bring about acceptance and support for those suffering with CDH and their families, and will lead to urgently needed research and medical advances;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2020 as CONGENITAL DIAPHRAGMATIC HERNIA AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.