CHOP’s 18th Annual Fetal Surgery Family Reunion

More than 300 children who received prenatal care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment gathered with their families to celebrate 18 years of hope.

Sponsored by Anapol Schwartz Foundation, the reunion of 1,500 people from 22 states brings together a unique community of families who have shared similar struggles. Nearly all of the children in attendance were prenatally diagnosed with a birth defect that had potentially devastating outcomes. Babies diagnosed with these birth defects either underwent fetal surgery to treat the condition before birth or received highly sophisticated care immediately after birth.

“The fetal family reunion is our team’s favorite day of the year,” said N. Scott Adzick, M.D., Surgeon-In-Chief at Children’s Hospital and director of the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. “Since our first reunion in 1997, attendance has grown from just ten families to over 300 at today’s event. We care for families from all over the world, so this reunion is a great opportunity for our team to reunite with them and celebrate.”

One quarter of approximately 4,000 fetal surgeries done worldwide have been performed at CHOP. The Center staff has also managed thousands of pregnancies complicated by birth defects like congenital diaphragmatic hernia and gastroschisis, in which newborns need immediate specialized medical care or surgery after delivery.