About this Website:

This website was designed for two reasons.

One very important reason was to remember our son Christopher Lee whom we lost due to Vasa Previa March 2nd, 2002. See his story in various places throughout this website and please watch his memorial video.

The other reason was to raise awareness of this horrible deformity. Vasa Previa, while rare (1:3000), causes the needless death of children far too often. A simple test in most cases can warn you ahead of time if this problem exists. It is true that nothing can be done to prevent it and it is also true that nothing can be done to reverse it once you discover you have this disease but the death of your child can be prevented if you know about it ahead of time.

I urge everybody who reads this to inform everybody they know, especially if they are or know somebody that is expecting a baby, to talk to their doctor about Vasa Previa and to get them to schedule a COLORED Doppler Ultra-Sound and specifically to look for signs of Vasa Previa. The colored ultra-sound can pick this problem up where the standard one cannot. Stopping the defect is not our goal here, we can't do that right now, but raising awareness of the problem is and if you know about it ahead of time measures can be taken to preserve the life of a precious baby. Some of the symptoms my wife showed that were not really ignored but not seen as signs of Vasa Previa as they should have been were:

         Spotting

         A tugging feeling followed by initially mild pain then the tugging got worse and the pain greater (it was dismissed as bruising from the baby kicking)

When Patti's water broke there was a great deal of blood. At that point it wasn't quite too late but close. Had we been in the hospital at the time they could have immediately done a C-Section and Christopher's chances would have improved greatly. Since we were at home and in was March plus we were in the middle of a blizzard we had no chance to get to the hospital and get him out quickly enough.

If you have Vasa Previa it generally only becomes a problem when and if your baby breaks your water. That is when the blood flow becomes a problem. At that point the baby needs to be taken out within minutes if he/she will have any chance of survival. If not they will probably be born anemic and with major problems to his or her organs, especially the heart, and that is if your baby is born alive at all.

But if you know about it ahead of time you can be monitored more closely, hospitalized in the 3rd trimester and the baby can be taken by C-Section at 35 weeks.

The point? If it is properly diagnosed YOUR BABY CAN LIVE. But if awareness of this tragic disease is not increased then properly diagnosing the problem doesn't happen often enough.

What is Vasa Previa?

Vasa Previa occurs when fetal blood vessel(s) from the placenta or umbilical cord cross the entrance to the birth canal, beneath the baby. Vasa previa can result in rapid fetal hemorrhage (occurs from the vessels tearing when the cervix dilates or membranes rupture) or lack of oxygen (if the vessels become pinched off as they are compressed between the baby and the walls of the birth canal). The aberrant vessels result from velamentous insertion of the cord, bilobed or succenturiate lobed placenta.