Texas family using their story to raise awareness of CMV

CNN
Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 11:07am

A Houston family is using its story to make sure other families never feel their pain.

The family spoke about the little known virus that took the life of their newborn baby and why everyone should know about CMV.

"We'd been calling her Maddie from the moment we found out it was a girl," said mother Farrah Armstrong.

Farrah calls her second pregnancy nothing short of textbook.

"It wasn't until literally the day before we had her that we had any signs at all," said father, Patrick Armstrong.

No signs that the family of four they were days away from having was now in jeopardy.

"The OB when she measured me, she noticed that I was measuring small," said Farrah.

Doctors decided to induce the baby two weeks early. On February 1st, Maddie Armstrong was borne weighing less than 5 pounds.

"She had a rash on her we just kind of wondered what that was," said Patrick.

The rash was just the first sign. Test results later confirmed that Maddie had been infected with a little known virus called CMV. Then came the news no parent ever wants to hear.

"She's not going to make it, I can't tell you if it's going to be days or weeks," said Patrick.

"We took her home and it was amazing, I wouldn't change it for anything. She got to have her final days in our house with all our love around her," said Farrah.

Just 12 days after being born, baby Maddie passed away.

"It's hard, it's hard I think we're trying to take things one day at a time."

Although common, doctors say most people aren't aware they even have it.

"We don't routinely test for it," said Neonatologist, Dr. Cecilia Stewart.

Dr. Stewart says about 1 in 150 babies are born with CMV although most don't show the signs of it.

Although there is no treatment available, doctors believe awareness is key.

"By increasing awareness it is possible that you can get more funding for research," said Dr. Stewart.

The Armstrongs say they are now in a new battle to raise awareness so that others don't feel their pain.

"We went through this and we didn't even know what this awful virus was, that's not right," said Patrick. 

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