Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, October 28, 2016

An Extraordinary Launch Into Life

"Some of these tumours can be very well-tolerated, so the fetus has it and can get born with it and we can take it out after the baby's born."
"[She was] hanging out in the air ... Essentially, the fetus is outside, like completely out, all the amniotic fluid falls out, it's actually fairly dramatic."
"The part on the fetus we do very, very quickly. It's only 20 minutes or so on the actual fetus. [Most of the time the uterus] a big muscle lined with membranes [is being carefully incised]."
Dr. Darrell Casse, surgeon, Texas Children's Hospital

"LynLee didn't have much of a chance. The tumour was shutting her heart down and causing her to go into cardiac failure, so it was a choice of allowing the tumour to take over her body or giving her a chance at life."
"After the open fetal surgery, her heart had time to heal while I was still pregnant with her, so she has no heart issues now, and is doing amazing[ly well]."
Mother Margaret Boemer

This is yet another miracle baby in the sense that her life was in imminent danger, and modern medicine had the answer that restored her chances of life and a future. This baby had a sacrococcygeal teratoma, a massive tumour situated between the end of her spine and her backside. This condition is not as rare as one might suppose, affecting one in 35,000 fetuses. A feature that complicates the situation of childbirth, and fears arising from parents' hope that their child will be 'normal'.

In most instances, the tumour is not that large that it presents as a threat to life. After childbirth the tumour is surgically removed and the baby is 'normal'. In tiny LynLee Boemer's case her tumour was immense relative to her size, making it indeed a frightening threat, and a rare one. When the fetus was in its 23rd week, the tumour was almost as large as it was. And while most such surgeries can be performed even as the fetus remains within the womb, this wouldn't work for her.

Instead, the fetus had to be temporarily moved outside the womb to enable the surgeon and his surgical team to have that massive tumour removed. And then, the fetus was returned to continue its gestation period within her mother's womb. All did not go precisely to plan during the procedure. The fetus's heart stopped and that's when a second doctor stepped in to keep it pumping until the baby, umbilical cord left intact, was returned to the womb, the mother stitched back up.

After the baby's final delivery, the first time of several hours' duration while she was shed of that tumour, the second time when she was released from her mother's womb through a Caesarean Section, the tumour re-started. Eight days after LynLee's birth another surgery took place, to remove the second growth. 

A picture showing Mrs Boemer with baby Lynlee and her two older daughters
Paul V. Kuntz/Texas Children's Hospital   
Mr and Mrs Boemer are now parents to three daughters

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

()() Follow @rheytah Tweet