(KING) Every story has a beginning, but the story of Abigail Rose Beutler almost ended before she was even born, when her mom, Congresswoamn Jaime Herrera Beutler was five months pregnant.
"We thought we were going to find out the sex so we were in there watching the ultrasound, and then he got right next to us and said, 'I cannot see any kidneys,' and I knew it was bad. We understood the gravity but we were like, 'What does that mean?'" Herrera-Beutler recalled.
No kidneys meant the baby wasn't producing amniotic fluid. Without it, her lungs and other organs couldn't develop. It's called Potter Syndrome, a condition doctors told them was 100 percent fatal.
The couple was told Jaime would either miscarry or the baby would suffocate at birth.
Doctors suggested terminating the pregnancy, but the Beutlers weren't about to give up.
"We just both felt like we need to be parents now," said Dan Beutler, "and fight for her and do whatever we can to save her."
As word spread in the media, they learned of an unconventional procedure that involved injecting saline into the womb to give Abigail's organs room to grow. The problem: it wasn't considered acceptable treatment for Potter Syndrome. Doctor after doctor turned them down, but after an exhaustive search and a lot of persuasion, a doctor at Johns Hopkins agreed to give it a try.