When Whitney Dinkel was pregnant with her third child, the doctor delivered some devastating news. At her 20-week ultrasound, she was told that her unborn baby had spina bifida. Given the option of a termination, she refused to give up. Her reward was a son named Roman, who fought to beat the odds and made many people smile.
Whitney was already mom to four-year-old Gracelyn and six-year-old Layton in Overland Park, Kansas. But five months into her pregnancy with her son, Roman, doctors made a discovery on a routine scan. They spotted that her unborn child had developed fluid surrounding both his spine and brain.
Doctors diagnosed Whitney’s child as having spina bifida, the literal meaning of which is “split spine.” But more than that, he had the worst form of four types of the condition: myelomenigocele. The severity of outcome for this type of spina bifida can be as extreme as either full or partial paralysis in the lower body.