Member Spotlight: Supporting Chromosome 18 Research

Brian T. Wessman, MD, FACEP, FCCM, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, and his family are actively involved in supporting the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society.

involved in supporting the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society. When Brian and his wife, Jennifer C. Wessman, MD (a Pediatrician) welcomed their first child, Dakin, in July 2012, they discovered that he had been born with distal 18q- deletion, a very rare genetic condition affecting the “q arm” of his 18th chromosome. His large distal deletion includes the TCF gene. Dakin was born with partial genesis of the corpus callous and he has severe global developmental delay. Dakin is nonverbal and is learning to use a communication device. He has a modified pediatric walker to assist with mobility. He uses hearing aids and glasses, among other physical therapy support devices. Dakin has grown into a unique 6-year-old boy who enjoys music, bright lights, and reading stories. Needless to say, the 4th of July is one of his favorite holidays. Dakin loves going to school and is active in his kindergarten class at Keysor Elementary in Kirkwood, Missouri.

In an effort to help Dakin and others with conditions affecting the 18th Chromosome, the Wessman Family is active in supporting the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society. They are enrolled as research participants, attend annual conferences, participate in fundraising activities, and offer financial support. The Wessman Family also supports their local Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments in Saint Louis by participating in regularly scheduled meetings, pediatric events, fundraising activities, and serve on its parental advisory committee.

Dakin has three younger siblings (Ryker, Nollie, and Saxon). He has empowered the Wessman Family with patience and an appreciation for all of the small achievements in life. “We are truly blessed to have him in our family and his example in our lives,” shared Dr. Wessman.

Learn more about the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society at www.chromosome18.org.
 


As part of its special Giving Issue, the Society of Critical Care Medicine sought to profile members of the critical care community who are giving back to their communities in all kinds of ways. Are you or someone you know working to make a difference? Share your story for a future issue​