News of LUTO diagnosis worries parents and providers alike. But there is hope. The Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program team at Stanford Children’s Health gave us permission to share the story of a boy with an unstoppable smile. 

Kaleb understood what takes most of us a lifetime to understand: Life is a gift that should be celebrated.“He has so much joy. He’s always smiling, even if it’s a hard day,” says Mandy, Kaleb’s mom. “It’s weird to think of what he has been through at such a young age, but he’s full of life despite all of it.”

When Mandy was about 12 weeks pregnant, an ultrasound showed that Kaleb’s urethra was blocked, causing his bladder to become extremely large and swollen. He was diagnosed with a rare condition called fetal lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO). Mandy was told there was nothing to be done and that Kaleb would likely not survive. It wasn’t a diagnosis she and her husband were ready to accept. They came to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the core of Stanford Children’s Health network for a second opinion.

The expert, multidisciplinary Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program team at Stanford Children’s Health is known for addressing the needs of mothers and babies before, during, and after birth. Stanford Children’s Health’s Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program team offers comprehensive, coordinated obstetric and neonatal care to expectant mothers with complex, high risk fetal and/or maternal conditions—placental disorders, twin-twin transfusion syndrome, fetal spina bifida, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, LUTO and others. Caring for some of the most complex fetal and pregnancy cases has led to pushing the envelope when it comes to offering treatments and fetal interventions to the program’s diverse fetal patients, mothers and babies. So far, patients from across the United States and internationally have benefited from this extraordinary fetal and pregnancy care. To learn more about the coordinated care, treatments, and fetal interventions the Fetal and Pregnancy Health Program team specializes in at Stanford Children’s Health, visit

Read Kaleb’s full story.