The astonishing reason this baby girl was 'born twice'

By admin
28 October 2016

When Margaret Boemer and her husband discovered they were expecting twins, they were delighted.

The exciting news came just months after the Texas couple suffered a miscarriage.

But tragedy was to befall the couple again – they lost one of the babies six weeks into the pregnancy.

After a routine check-up 16 weeks into the pregnancy, doctors approached Margaret and her husband with more devastating news.

The baby girl she was carrying had sacrococcygeal teratoma, an unusual tumour located at the base of baby's tailbone.

The rare tumour feeds on blood flow from the baby, competing with the baby as they both are trying to grow, explains Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children's Foetal Centre and associate professor at Baylor College Medicine in the US.

"In some instances, the tumour wins and the heart just can't keep up and the heart goes into failure and the baby dies."

"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," said Margaret.

Her prenatal doctor was particularly worried about the tumour's size - it was already almost as big as the foetus.

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“She felt like that there was a strong possibility that [baby] Lynlee would not make it to term.”

But Darrell Cass and his colleague Oluyinka Olutoye took an interest in the case as they had successfully performed the open fetal surgery seven years before.

With a team of about 20 medicals, Darrel and Oluyinka set out to remove the tumour in an extremely risky surgery.

Read more: ‘If it wasn’t for the baby, she would never have found out about the tumours’

As feared, the procedure was met with complications. At one point, the baby's heart stopped and needed to be restarted. At another, she had to have a blood transfusion.

“These are babies that are essentially dying,” Oluyinka said. “You have a child who's already sick, and the operation itself can make her sicker.”

After removing about 90 percent of the tumour, surgeons placed the baby back into the womb in a groundbreaking procedure.

Read more: ‘She weighed as much as a placenta’: Heartwarming tale of ‘miracle baby’ Hayfah born at just 25 weeks

Five hours later, the procedure was complete.

And it was a success.

The baby girl continued to grow in her mother's womb.

Read more: Watch: Premature baby’s heart beats OUTSIDE his body for the last time

“Her heart got much better, now that it didn't have to work as hard pumping through this huge tumour,” Oluyinka noted.

On June 6, when Margaret was 36 weeks into her pregnancy, she underwent a C-section.

“Watching Lynlee come out crying and kicking ... was really very exciting to see,” said Oluyinka. “Her whole leg [during the surgery] was barely the size of my finger. They grow so much over such a short period of time.”

“You can say she's seen the world twice."

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When she was 8 days old, baby Lynlee, whose middle name is 'Hope', underwent another surgery to remove the rest of the tumour.

Now, she is nearing her five-month birthday and “hitting all her milestones".

According to the proud mom, she giggles easily and enjoys being near her older sisters.

“It’s been kind of overwhelming, how much attention her story’s gotten, but we’re very thankful,” Margaret said.

“I can tell you when we were told this very long name, we were scared and didn’t know what that was and had never heard of it. So I’m glad that it's getting attention so that others who are diagnosed can know that they’re not alone.”

Sources: cnn.com, washingtonpost.com, foxnews.com

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