Mercer Co. infant who spent first 3 months of life in hospital released in time for Thanksgiving

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PITTSBURGH —

The Gerlach family of Mercer County has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

"It's very nice to be home," said Jennifer Gerlach as she held her 3-month-old son, Brock.

"We weren't sure if he would make it by Thanksgiving. It seemed like there was always a bump in the road every time," said Ed Gerlach.

Brock was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH, a condition in which the diaphragm doesn't form correctly.

After spending the first three months of his life at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, the family finally got to bring Brock home a few days ago.

"Everything has gone the way it should," said Jennifer Gerlach.

Brock required several surgeries but can now eat on his own.

He still requires and IV and feeding tube.

The Gerlachs said the support they have received is priceless, and has kept them smiling even at the most difficult times.

"A bunch of close friends of mine were waiting for him to get home. They started 'Beards for Brock.' They weren't shaving their beards until he came home," said Ed Gerlach, adding that a lot of their wives were waiting for Brock to come home, too.

Now the family looks forward to doing the little things with their son, like taking him to see Christmas lights.

"Something to just see him light up," said his mom. "Just to see him smile. "

"You can't thank everyone enough so what an appropriate time for Thanksgiving," said Ed Gerlach.

"Yes, much to be thankful for," said Jennifer Gerlach.

To learn more about CDH, log on to http://www.cherubs-cdh.org/