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Published December 03, 2013, 09:24 PM

Moorhead baby boy thriving after rough start

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) – Seven month old Caleb Derby of Moorhead is thriving, but the baby boy had a rough start.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) – Seven month old Caleb Derby of Moorhead is thriving, but the baby boy had a rough start.

In fact, doctors turned to a rarely used procedure, that his parents say, saved his life.

At his Children of Hope Child Care in North Fargo, Caleb Derby hangs out with his parents and big sister.

But while his mother, Veronica, was still pregnant, weeks before delivery, a red flag on Caleb’s ultra sound.

Dr. Peter Van Eerden/Sanford Maternal – Fetal Medicine: “This is the baby's heart beating, and this is a lung and you can see all this black is fluid.”

Doctors discovered a problem with one of Caleb's lungs. Something called Pleural Effusion.

Van Eerden: “In the past, the baby would not survive.”

Fluid building around his lung.

Veronica Derby/Caleb’s Mom: “I was scared, very very scared.”

Dr. Peter Van Eerden is a Maternal- Fetal Medicine Specialist at Sanford.

He focuses on high risk pregnancies.

In order to help Caleb, the physician flew in the instruments needed, to Fargo.

Van Eerden: “You will be able to see the catheter curly cue in right there.”

Through Veronica's belly, uterus and into Caleb's chest wall, ultra sound guidance helped Van Eerden thread a catheter to the fluid buildup.

Van Eerden: “And you can see the fluid go down.”

It was drained, the lung began working, and last May, Caleb was born.

Derby: “He is amazing, brings love and laughter to everyone who knows him, loves him.”

The cases are rare, but ironically, Van Eerden is working on another case like Caleb's right now.

Most children with Pleural Effusion grow up with normal lung function.

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