A baby in Texas has two birthdays to celebrate. That’s because doctors removed her briefly from her mother’s womb to perform life-saving surgery, and then put her back in until she reached full term.
Margaret and Jeff Boemer are enjoying watching their 4-month-old daughter Lynlee grow up.
It didn’t always seem possible.
“The doctor came in and told us that they saw something on the ultrasound,” said Margaret.
In the middle of her mother’s pregnancy, doctors discovered a massive tumor growing from Lynlee’s tailbone.
“It was a big shock and we were scared and I had just suffered a miscarriage the prior year,” Margaret said. “It was hard thinking I might lose another baby.”
The rare tumor had robbed Lynlee of blood and would have caused her heart to give out before birth.
“Lynlee would not have made it without this surgery,” said Dr. Darrell Cass.
Dr. Cass and his team at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston performed an emergency fetal operation on Lynlee.
At almost 24 weeks, doctors pulled almost half of Lynlee’s body out of her mother’s uterus and removed 90 percent of the tumor. Then came the challenge of putting Lynlee back in and closing the uterus.
“We have to get the tumor away but then we have to make sure the baby can stay safely inside for a number of weeks afterward to have any kind of survival,” said Dr. Cass.
Lynlee was essentially born a second time, 12 weeks later.
“She’s doing great now we’re practicing rolling over,” said Margaret.
Doctors will continue to monitor Lynlee all the way into adulthood. So far she is reaching all her milestones.