Avery’s Angels Team
Assistant Director of Social Media
I’m Wendy Hutchens and I live in a small town called East Bend in North Carolina. I am the mother of a very adventurous and full of life Vanishing Gastroschisis Princess. Our journey in the Gastroschisis community began when I was only 12 weeks pregnant. It was at that appointment that she was diagnosed with Gastroschisis. I was fed the line “If my baby had to be born with a birth defect this is what I would want”. I was also fed the line “It’s an easy fix”. I was told about AAGF by one of the best doctors at Brenners Children’s Hospital. I never thought about support because I was always someone to handle stuff on my own. After my daughter was born without her intestines being on the outside she was transferred to Brenners and re diagnosed with Vanishing Gastroschisis and Short Bowel Syndrome. We were told that we would be placed on the small intestines transplant list at Duke. I decided to tryout AAGF because I was way overwhelmed and didn’t know what to think. Meghan contacted me almost immediately and put me in contact with some of the best people including her that would be by my side and be there to talk to or just listen if I needed them to. Now after almost 3 years on the donor list they have changed the plans for her and are now trying to rehab her bowel to were she won’t have to have a transplant and it will increase her life expectancy. Meghan has stayed with me to be a shoulder to cry on for 3 years. After all the support I got I would love to be a support person for anyone that needs it. This road we are all on isn’t east and I’d be lying if I said it got easier. But having people to talk to or people to just listen to you, makes the journey not feel so lonely. I also want to encourage people to stay strong during this difficult battle and help people remember we are all in one tribe and fighting for the same thing and we are all one Gastroschisis family.