Isaac’s story: The Comprehensive Congenital Colorectal Program helped give our son the ability to live a socially confident life

By Children's Memorial Hermann
March 22, 2023

Isaac is a happy and inquisitive 13-year-old. His current hobbies are playing tennis and practicing his karate moves. He loves learning new things, and he is not one to shy away from challenges.

“Isaac is goal-oriented,” said his mother, Tu-Lan Tran. “He is doing well academically and loves history and the military. Isaac achieves whatever he sets his mind to. The sky is the limit for him.”

When Tu-Lan was 20 weeks pregnant, she and her husband, Toan, learned something was wrong with Isaac.

“My OB/GYN saw calcifications in his GI tract, and he had a single kidney,” said Tu-Lan. “No other issues were detected from the ultrasound at that point. I began seeing a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) doctor to monitor my pregnancy more closely. It wasn’t until after Isaac was born that we learned our son had more health complications. Everything seemed to happen one after another.”

Isaac was born with imperforate anus, a rare birth defect where there is no anus (opening) at the end of his digestive tract. Isaac also had a neurogenic bladder, a term that describes what happens when neurological conditions affect the way the bladder functions. He had surgery to reconstruct his anus and then another surgery to correct an abnormal connection between his urethra and bowel. Additionally, Isaac had sacral agenesis, where his lower spine didn’t develop normally. When he was 6 years old, he was diagnosed with a tethered spinal cord. Over time, this condition can affect spinal mobility and cause bladder and bowel control problems, which Isaac experienced.  Read full story