Little known virus cuts newborn's life short

Family wants to raise awareness about the virus that killed their baby girl
March 1, 2014 6:07:15 AM PST
A family is trying to raise awareness after losing their 12-day-old baby to a little known virus.

Maddie Armstrong was born with congenital CMV, a common virus that affects people of all ages. Her mother, Farah Armstrong, didn't know she had the virus and, according to her, had a textbook pregnancy.

It wasn't until Armstrong went in for a routine 38 week checkup that her doctor noticed the size of the baby was small. Doctors immediately scheduled her delivery and Baby Maddie was born January 31 at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital weighing less than 5 pounds with a skin rash and an inflamed liver.

Doctors brought news no parents want to hear. Baby Maddie was terminal. The family decided to take the baby home so she could live out her life surrounded by love.

Just 12 short days after being born, Baby Maddie passed away at home in the arms of her mother.

Although common, doctors say most people aren't aware they even have CMV, they don't routinely test for it. Dr. Cecilia Stewart says about 1 in 150 babies are born with CMV, although most don't show signs of it. Although there is no treatment available, doctors believe awareness is key.

The Armstrongs now want to raise awareness about this virus with hopes that no parents are caught off guard like they were. They've created a website that details their sudden battle and are also raising funds to help support an organization called Stop CMV. To date, the family has raised more than $31,000.

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