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Valencia baby set for lung surgery in September

Family copes with confinement, costs as they pray for the best

Posted: August 13, 2014 5:58 p.m.
Updated: August 13, 2014 5:58 p.m.
Baby Brooklyn Hernandez was born with congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation and requires surgery.  Baby Brooklyn Hernandez was born with congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation and requires surgery. 
Baby Brooklyn Hernandez was born with congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation and requires surgery. 

A Valencia family is in the process of coping and staying positive as they wait until September for lung surgery for their infant daughter.

When she was born March 20 at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, little Brooklyn was not breathing properly. Moments later she was taken from her mother and put into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“They snatched her, and off they went,” said mother Tiffany Hernandez. “She was there for two weeks while they were trying to figure out her breathing.”

Two weeks later, Brooklyn was released from the NICU and referred to the Children’s Hospital medical offices in Valencia. There doctors found black spots on her lungs.

Brooklyn Hernandez was diagnosed with congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation, or CCAM, which is a rare condition detected in one out of every 25,000 pregnancies, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information.

The condition occurs when the lung does not form properly, instead creating a tumor that can be cancerous if not removed. Tiffany Hernandez and her husband, Mike, discussed a lung transplant, but both parents decided surgery would be the better option.

Surgery, scheduled for the end of the September when Brooklyn is six months old, will remove the cyst on Brooklyn’s lung but could result in the complete removal of her right lung. After that, her mother says, it will be up to Brooklyn to wean herself off breathing machines, a process that could take a few weeks.

Until the surgery, the Hernandez family is trying to stay indoors to avoid exposing the baby to any germs.

“We had to completely shut everything down, and we basically live in a bubble now,” said Tiffany Hernandez. “If she has any kind of infection, she has to be hospitalized immediately.”

Other than sounding congested, Brooklyn looks completely healthy, which makes difficult the adjustment required of Brooklyn’s three older siblings: Jordan, Hailey and Peyton.

Before their sister was born, the family was very involved in sports and church. Now they have to spend their summer mostly indoors.

“For the kids, they feel trapped unless a friend takes them somewhere,” said Tiffany Hernandez. “We can’t even really go to the market.”

To help out with some of the costs — although the family has insurance, there are expenses not covered — the Hernandez family held a garage and put out the word on Facebook.

The outpouring of help astonished them.

“There were all these strangers that came together in a time of devastation,” said Tiffany Hernandez. “People that we don’t know would come to pray for the baby, make a donation or drop off stuff for the garage sale.”

But their faith is what most sustains them, she said.

“The most important thing we need is prayers,” she said. “We need the strength to keep going.”

Support for the Hernandez family can be offered through or by messaging Tiffany Hernandez on “Brooklyn’s Prayer Warriors” Facebook page.



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