SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Gov. Nathan Deal declares July 30th as Gastroschisis Awareness Day, dedicated to children who are born with their intestines outside of their body. This comes after a Savannah woman sent Gov. Deal a letter asking him to set this day aside for all those affected by this medical condition.
This all started when Terrill Coleman went to find out the sex of her baby when the doctor told her that her unborn baby's intestines were growing on the outside of his body. She says it is a birth defect that affects nearly one in every 2,200 babies. That is when she decided to learn as much as she could and start raising awareness.
"My initial thought is what am I going to do, is he going to be ok?" said Coleman.
Coleman says she is still digesting the news. It was just ten weeks ago when she learned her unborn son, Silas, would be born with Gastroschisis.
"It is just his intestines that are protruding outside," said Coleman.
It was news that no mother wants to hear. They do not know what causes the condition, but doctors can cure it through surgery after he is born.
"There are so many unknowns, and I like to know and have a plan," said Coleman.
So, her plan was to learn as about the condition and get involved with the Gastroschisis foundation, called "Avery's Angels."
"Because I could not go through it alone," said Coleman.
Not only were Coleman and her husband able to find the support they needed through this foundation, but that is where they got the idea to create an awareness day for the state of Georgia.
"Avery's Angels" had posted, 'try to get your state to declare it,'" said Coleman.
Then, she took matters into her own hands and sent a letter to Gov. Deal. But, after a couple of weeks went by, she was about to give up hope.
"I came home two days ago and there was a letter on my doorstep," said Coleman.
It was a letter that may have been addressed to Coleman, but was dedicated to all the lives in Georgia who are affected by this condition.
She says once her son is born, he will have to undergo possibly multiple surgeries. There is a fund set up in his name at www.GoFundMe.com/silasblair if you would like to help with his medical bills.
To get involved with "Avery's Angels": http://www.averysangels.org/