NAVASOTA Congenital Cytomegalovirus or C-M-V is a common virus that can infect people of all ages. The majority never show signs or symptoms, but in pregnant women, the infection that remains silent in most people, when transmitted to the unborn it can cause serious health issues. In the U.S., more than 5,000 children suffer hearing loss, developmental disabilities, seizures and in rare cases, death due to CMV.
About a year ago, Ashley Galaviz learned she was expecting her first child and immediately began preparing for to the much anticipated birth.
"Going to the baby section at every store that I went to and just getting his room ready," says Ashley Galaviz.
Like all young mother's to be, Ashley began thinking, will the child be a boy or a girl? And then, there was the joy of picking out names, getting the nursery ready and looking forward to baby showers, but then she received some some unwelcomed news.
Galaviz says, "At 23 weeks, we did find out through an amniocentesis test that Bryson had contracted Congenital CMV."
The actual name is Congenital Cytomegalovirus and the diagnosis left her stunned.
"When I was told this news I mean, we had no idea what this was. I had never heard about this virus. The only time that this virus is harmful is when a woman who is pregnant catches it for the very first time and the baby contracts the virus through the placenta and it affects them," says, Galaviz.
From preparing for the birth of a healthy child, Ashley now began to think about the future challenges she and her family would face. At 35 weeks, a tiny four-pound Bryson was born and he was fighting for his life.
Galaviz says, "My son had a ten percent chance of surviving and that was devastating."
But after three long months, Ashley and Bryson's dad, Joseph received some good news, their little guy was finally going home, but one day before he was to be discharged, the unthinkable happened.
"I received a call at like four a.m. informing me that Bryson's organs were shutting down and his body was starting to swell and he was not doing very well," says Galaviz.
Baby Bryson never made it home to meet the rest of his family, but through her heartbreak, Ashley's found the strength and determination to move forward. The love for her precious angel, has inspired her to find her voice and educate others about the disease that claimed his life.
"I want to do all I can to get the word out there about CMV so that way another poor innocent baby doesn't have to suffer the consequences of this virus," says Galaviz.
One way to help Ashley raise funds to help researchers find a cure for CMV and to raise awareness to this potentially deadly condition is to participate in the Run for Bryson 5-K CMV Awareness Event. The run will be held Saturday, July 13 at the Navasota Center, with check-in starting at 7:15 a.m. Registration is $15 and the first 50 runners will receive a free T-Shirt.