Edison holds hands with is family

Resilient Baby Edison

Early in Carolyn Counterman’s pregnancy, she was told that her baby had a prenatal congenital heart defect. Their Grand Rapids doctor referred them to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s Cardiac Team for treatment and Carolyn and Ryan felt calm as the Edison’s due date grew closer with the team’s guidance. But Edison decided to throw them a curve ball, as Carolyn describes it. He was born unexpectedly in respiratory distress due to another diagnosis Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia. Edison required support of a CPAP and spent the next three weeks in the hospital before being stable enough to go home.

Since Carolyn had a C-section to deliver Edison, staying in the room trying to care for a baby and herself was a tough balance. Their social worker provided an opportunity to stay at the RMHC Main House and Carolyn said it was “amazing!”

“The best part was being able to get the rest I needed to heal so I was focused when doctors needed to discuss Edison’s care,” she continued. Carolyn also recalled how much support she felt despite her husband needing to return to work in Grand Rapids a week after Edison’s birth.

The Counterman’s needed RMHC again when Edison underwent open heart surgery at 13 months old. “RMHC provided so much for us that it helped us stay strong and calm,” Carolyn said.

Edison is now 4 years old and into sharks and trains. He also enjoys reading and swimming as much as he can.

The Counterman family continue to give back with donations of coffee and cream whenever they are in Ann Arbor, and recently donated a Jimmy John’s meal to celebrate Edison’s 4th birthday.

Edison in the hospital