Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2010 Family Fun 5K Run/2K Walk

For 2010 details, please visit

Bring your family out for a day of fun and help us raise money for babies born with CDH.

Date: Saturday, May 15, 2010
Registration Time: 9:30
Race Start: 11:00
Location: JFK and Promenade, Sea Isle City

Price: Adults $25 (pre-registration by May 5th $20)
Kids aged 5-12: $10, Kids under 5: Free!
* additional donations are welcome*

If you can not make the race, but would like to make a donation, please send checks to Peyton's Promise, PO Box 122, Sea Isle City, NJ 08243.

More details at

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A great race day!

The first annual Peyton's Promise 5k run / 2k walk was a great success! We had approximately 280 runners and walkers and raised $21,500 to be donated to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This money will be allocated towards ongoing research for lung development to help babies born with CDH.

On behalf of everyone who donated, attended and helped out, Peyton and the Laricks family thanks you and wished you all the best. We look forward to making next year's event bigger and better.

Enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Peyton’s Story

On February 25th we got the shock of our lives when we learned that not only was Debbie in preterm labor, but the baby that she was carrying had a birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). We were heartbroken and scared beyond belief. We had never even heard of CDH. We had so many questions--What is it? Will our baby survive?

CDH is when the baby’s diaphragm fails to properly form (around weeks 7-8 of gestation). The opening that remains allows the abdominal organs to migrate into the upper chest cavity. This crowds the space that is needed for the lungs to grow. The severity of the baby’s CDH, along with lung function determines the prognosis, meaning you don't know until they are born. Many babies born with CDH require a highly invasive life saving treatment known as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). This is a heart and lung bypass machine that allows the infant to rest while his/her lungs begin to recover.

The tricky part for us was that not only did the baby have a severe right-sided CDH, but at the time of our diagnosis, she was too small to be put on ECMO after birth. This combination did not allow for much hope. The only way for the baby to survive was for Debbie to carry as close to full term as possible. The doctors immediately put Debbie on strict bed rest at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. Our son Dusty, who was only 22 months old at the time, came everyday to visit his mommy.

After 34 days of endless prayers, well wishes from friends, and much medical intervention, Debbie was considered full term (37 weeks) and the doctors decided to induce her. It was a miracle that they were able to control her contractions this long and it gave our baby a chance of surviving.

At 6:42 PM on March 31, 2008, Peyton Elizabeth Laricks made her entrance into the world after an emergency C-section. To the surprise of many, she made 3 little cries before they whisked her away in order to stabilize her and put her on a ventilator. She was then rushed to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to begin the fight for her life.
On Peyton’s fourth day of life, Dr. Liechty performed surgery to put her organs back where they should be and close the hole in her diaphragm with a gortex patch. Surgery went well, however the next day she took a turn for the worst. Her oxygen levels were extremely low and her heart was beating much too fast. She lost all of the color in her face and lips. In short, she was dying. Dr. Liechty had no choice but to hook her up to the ECMO machine.

Although this machine is designed to save the baby’s life, it comes with many risks and much uncertainty. The number of machines and tubes hooked into our little girl was so unbelievable, that it was hard to explain. We could not get them all into this picture (You can see her little head under the Peyton sign).
While on ECMO, Peyton swelled to about twice her size. It was painful to see. She was so sensitive to light that they kept her face covered. They also put little ear muffs over her ears to shut out the little noise in the NICU.

After 13 long days, Dr. Liechty took her off of ECMO. Now it was up to her lungs to keep her blood oxygenated. Slowly (very slowly) but surely, her swelling began to go down and she began to look more and more like our beautiful little girl again.

Finally on May 8th, 38 days after giving birth to Peyton, Debbie was able to hold her for the first time.

Then on May 13th, Peyton took another step towards coming home when they took her off of the ventilators. She was now on her own to breath. This was also the first time that we were able to see her entire face.

On June 27th, after 88 days of the scariest roller coaster ride of our lives, Peyton came home to Sea Isle to breathe the fresh salt air!

She had a great first summer.

She loves her big brother…

… most of the time.

On October 27th, she was readmitted to CHOP for a surgery to help control her reflux and place a feeding tube in her stomach. Luckily, she made it home just in time for Halloween!

Today, our miracle continues to grow and make daily improvements.

There are so many people that have helped us throughout Peyton's incredible journey. We are forever grateful to the amazing CHOP doctors and nurses for taking such excellent care of our daughter. The outpouring of support we have received from family, friends and our community has been incredible.
Now we want to return the favor. Peyton's Promise is our chance to pay it forward. Please help us raise awareness of CDH and money for research that will hopefully one day help other babies fight this devastating birth defect.

For more pictures of Peyton’s Journey, click here: