Mother shares how microcephaly affected her son

Posted at 8:31 PM, Apr 26, 2016
When Amanda Guido thinks of her son Shane, she thinks of how strong he was and what a great smile and laugh he had. She said he had a very calm spirit.

When she became pregnant, she had no idea what microcephaly was or what it would mean for her first born.

"It was my first child so I went. I had his carrier, his diaper bag, his first outfit that you wear home and everything came home but him. That was pretty devastating. I was a new mom, a young mom," she said.

Now Amanda remembers her oldest of four children with his untouched bedroom, and a tattoo that reads 'your wings were ready but my heart was not'. Shane died six months ago. He was 13.

"I never knew what a difference it was until I had other children. Wow they react, they smile, they are starting to sit up and all these things he wasn't doing and never really did," Amanda told ABC2.

She said seeing more babies with microcephaly worries her because she knows how hard it was on her family.

Shane's microcephaly was not caused by the Zika virus. In fact, there are a number of infections that can cause babies to have the same brain defects.

"The brains are very very small and very very poorly formed and that tells you that this is going to be something very significant where the kids are not going to progress very far," Dr. Scott Krugman, Chairman of the Department of pediatrics at Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center, said.

Dr. Krugman has treated kids with microcephaly before and said it is actually already common in babies in the United States.

He said he and his colleagues are keeping up with knowledge still developing about Zika virus. He predicts we will see the first cases in Florida and Texas in the fall and in Maryland by March. 

"My biggest concern with Zika really is who is going to be taking care of the babies because all of these babies have these significant developmental delays. They're going to be kids with special health care risks. They're at risk for recurrent infections like pneumonias and things like that and they're never going to be walking and talking and being in school. They're going to have very significant defects," he said.

Dr. Krugman said we need to be prepared to care for them.

"I think at least in the U.S. we have systems in place to care for kids with special needs versus rural El Salvador or Honduras. I'm very scared for those poor kids because they're not going to get physical therapy, orrehabilitation. They don't have a Kennedy Kreiger Institute. They don't have a lot of services to take care of what their needs are," said Dr. Krugman.

Currently, Zika is not having any major impact in the U.S., but as we approach summertime, that means more mosquitos and and an increased risk.

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.