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Tip of the Month Recipient | Emma Homan Family

All tips given the month of November will be donated to the Emma Homan family of Chickasaw. Emma (5 months old) is younger sister to twin brothers Ezekiel and Everett (2 years old) and daughter to AJ and Brittany (Sudhoff of Fort Recovery) Homan. AJ is a sales tax accountant for Crown Equipment and Brittany is a physician assistant.


When Brittany was 21 weeks pregnant with Emma, the ultrasound showed their baby had enlarged brain ventricles which prompted referral to Miami Valley Hospital where she was diagnosed with spina bifida. With spina bifida comes a constellation of other medical issues affecting muscle function in the legs, function of bladder and bowels, and is also associated with changes in the brainstem called a Chiari malformation. Emma also has club feet and hip dislocations on both sides. They were referred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Brittany and AJ moved into the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati when Brittany was 35 weeks for closer follow up. At that time, the twin boys moved in with their grandmas until Emma came home.


Emma was born on June 27, 2022 at 38 weeks gestation via a scheduled C-section. At 24 hours old, she went to surgery for repair of her spinal cord and to have an external drain placed in her brain ventricles because of the significant fluid. On July 7, she had an internal drain placed in exchange for her external drain. Testing was initiated to evaluate associated conditions related to her spina bifida that would need to be addressed prior to discharge. She was found to have a left femur and tibia fracture; thankfully, it was already healing by the time it was identified. Her kidneys and bladder were notable for reflux which increases the risk of infection and need for cathing. Feeding has been complicated by aspiration and difficulty swallowing therefore she receives her nutrition through a tube in her nose. She was also found to have sleep apnea and requires supplemental oxygen.


On the early morning of July 16, she developed a fever and was found to have a bacterial infection within her brain, called ventriculitis/meningitis. Her internal drain had to be removed in order to clear the infection. They started her on antibiotics and took her back to surgery on July 19 to remove her internal drain and an external drain was again placed. She completed treatment of her infection and has had no further evidence of infection. On August 11, the drain was removed and an internal shunt was again placed. On August 17 they were discharged to go home as a family. After being home for a week, Emma was having more pauses in her breathing. When evaluated, doctors found her ventricles were not improving as they should but in fact were getting larger which can affect brain stem function. Fluid was manually removed from her shunt and her shunt reprogrammed causing another night at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.


Emma was baptized on September 18 in the afternoon, but ended the day at Dayton Children’s Hospital because of a respiratory virus and stayed for two nights before returning home. She continues with many sub-specialty follow-ups and has undergone multiple imaging studies for continued follow up of her ventricles. She is working hard with physical, occupational, speech (to help with feeding), and vision therapy. This November Emma is expected to get a Gtube placed. Emma is blessed with a loving, supportive, prayerful, and helpful family and extended family.


Despite Emma’s struggles, she is a happy baby who loves lights, contrast cards, and playing with her hands and pacifier. She loves to coo and laugh at her mom, dad, grandmas, and two older brothers who love to play with her hair. Let us keep the Homan family in our daily prayers. Your generous tip will help cover their ongoing medical bills. Thank you and God bless!


November 2022





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