Baby Born ‘Twice’ Is Doing Well After Miracle Surgery

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A baby has been ‘born twice’ after doctors had to take her out of the womb to remove a tumour that was threatening her life.

Lynlee Boemer’s only chance of survival was a risky fetal surgery which involved cutting her out of her mother prematurely, and then putting her back in so that she could be carried full term.

Lyn lees mother Margaret said she was told at 16 weeks that her baby was suffering from a rare birth defect known as sacrococcygeal teratoma – a tumour that grows from a baby’s tailbone.

The growth occurs in about one out of 30,000-70,000 live births and affects girls four times more than boys.

In some cases the baby can be left to develop normally in the womb and when it is born doctors can remove the tumour, but in the case of Lynlee the turmour had begun to take over her blood supply and was putting her heart under immense strain.

Dr Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Centre and his surgical partner Dr Oluyinka Olutoye, offered Mrs Boemer a termination but she wanted to give Lynlee a chance at life so they took the decision to operate on the baby before it was born.

When Mrs Boemer was 23 weeks and five days pregnant she was taken into the operating theatre.

Mrs Boemer told CNN: “Lynlee didn’t have much of a chance. At 23 weeks, 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.




‘It was an easy decision for us. We wanted to give her life.”

The two surgeons performed the delicate five-hour surgery on the 1lb 3oz foetus by temporarily removing her from the womb.

Dr Cass said the tumour was so large that a huge cut was needed to get the baby out of the uterus.

He added: “So it ended up that the baby was hanging out in the air… Essentially, the foetus is outside, like completely out, all the amniotic fluid falls out, it’s actually fairly dramatic.”

During the surgery Lynlee’s heart almost came to a standstill, but Dr Cass credited the heart specialist in the theatre with keeping her alive.

After they had removed as much of the tumour as possible, the surgeons put Lynlee back into the womb and sewed her back into her mother.

Dr Cass said: “It’s kind of a miracle you’re able to open the uterus like that and seal it all back and the whole thing works”.

Mrs Boemer was put on bed rest and eventually managed to carry Lynlee to full term before she was ‘born again’ by caesarean section in June.

However, the ordeal wasn’t quite over yet as at eight days old LynLee had to undergo further surgery to remove remnants of the tumour that could not initially be reached .

Several weeks after her last operation and Lynlee is said to be doing well and making a remarkable recovery with her family at home. They recently set up a GoFundMe page to pay for her continued care.

She’ll certainly have a story to tell when she gets older…

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