Date of Defense




First Advisor

Wendy Finsterwald

Second Advisor

Dr. Atkinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol Voytas


"Birth defects, also referred to as congenital defects, are physical abnormalities that are present at birth" (Berkow, 1). Of all babies born, three to four percent have a major birth defect. In most cases congenital defects are diagnosed in about 7.5 percent of all children by the age of 5, however many of these are minor. When my twin sister Ivy Marie and I were born, we were both diagnosed with multiple birth defects that included: ruptured omphalocele with vesico intestinal fissure, exstrophied bladder and imperforate anus, Meckel's diverticulum, colonic duplication, andbicornate uterus. It is not surprising that birth defects are fairly common due to the complexities involved in developing a fertilized egg into the millions of specialized cells that make up a person, but the fact remains that they can be devastating and even deadly (Berkow, 1).

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only