Blood drive scheduled for baby TuckerPublished 12:11am Thursday, July 12, 2012
JACKSON — It wasn’t surprising that doctors were unable to diagnose Tucker Cross Hinson with Pallister-Killian Mosaic Syndrome, since it’s such a rare genetic disorder that it isn’t part of regular prenatal tests.
But receiving the diagnosis wasn’t nearly as frightening for Tucker’s parents, Kayce and Brett Hinson of Natchez, as being told their son might not survive.
“The hospital in Louisiana pretty much didn’t give us any hope,” Kayce said. “They were all saying we were just waiting to pass the baby before it would die.”
The syndrome, also known as PKS, is a developmental disorder that affects different parts of the body and is characterized by extremely weak muscle tone.
In Tucker’s case, the first sign of any problems came at 15 weeks of Kayce’s pregnancy, when the doctors detected a birth defect of Tucker’s diaphragm.
The initial tests showed that Tucker could be born without a right lung, but they didn’t show any signs of PKS disorder — until a week later.
“I got a phone call on a Monday saying that everything was normal and then they called me back that next Friday and told me he had the disorder,” Kayce said. “That was a rough week.”
After some positive reinforcement from her friends, and family, like grandparents Denny and Susan Hinson of Vidalia and Milton and Penny Whittington of Natchez, Kayce decided to visit University Medical Center in Jackson for further treatment.
“I was devastated for two weeks when they told me he wasn’t going to make it, but once I came up here and they said, ‘No don’t think that way,’ I felt a lot better,” Kayce said. “After I got to Jackson, it was never an option that he wasn’t going to make it.”
Kayce continued visiting UMC and undergoing different tests before Tucker decided it was time to make his grand entrance on July 1 — a month early.
“The disorder makes them bigger babies anyway, so at 34 weeks he was already 6 pounds 4 ounces,” Kayce said. “That’s one of the reasons they think he’s done so well.”
After delivery, Tucker was transferred to the Balir E. Batson Hospital for Children center at UMC, where he was placed on an artificial lung machine to help him breathe.
If Tucker were to stay on the lung machine for too long, his brain could begin bleeding and cause permanent brain damage, Kayce said.
So doctors rushed Tucker into surgery Tuesday to remove the congenital diaphragmatic hernia that affected his lung formation and the family got the first good news in several months.
“They were able to remove the hernia all in one surgery and found that he did have a right lung, it was just collapsed,” Kayce said. “They initially thought he wasn’t going to have the lung at all, so that was a huge relief that it was there.”
Now, doctors are starting a multi-step process to take Tucker off the artificial lung, put him on a ventilator and then oxygen before seeing if his lung will inflate and he can begin breathing on his own.
But until that process begins, Tucker is receiving multiple blood transfusions daily.
“They take his deoxignated blood out, put oxygen into it and put it back into him,” Kayce said. “He’s just constantly hooked up to machines getting new blood.”
Two blood drives in the Miss-Lou were scheduled to find compatible donors for Tucker.
Those wanting to donate blood can visit the Natchez Mall from noon to 6 p.m. today and Walmart in Vidalia from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Donors need to use the code DC80 or say Tucker Cross Hinson’s name when giving blood.
The support from the Miss-Lou has been welcomed by the Hinson family, Kayce said.
“I’m overwhelmed by how many people posted on Facebook and are putting up fliers for the blood drive,” Kayce said. “People I don’t even know are just asking what they can do to help.
“He’s already touched so many people’s lives.”
And if Tucker continues to receive new blood and manages to begin breathing on his own, Kayce said the only defects he will have is patchy hair — but she’s not too worried about that.
“Lucky for him I’m a hair stylist,” Kayce said. “I’ll always make him look good.”