When Margaret Boemer went for an ultrasound pregnancy checkup, she was told that her baby had a rare condition and would require surgery if she were to survive.
“16 weeks being pregnant I found out that our baby had a sacrococcygeal teratoma,” Boemer said.
The condition is a form of malignant tumor that forms at the base of a baby’s tailbone, which can be life-threatening.
“LynLee didn’t have much of a chance, you have a 50/50 chance of making it and the tumour was so big. I was coming for regular checkups and by the time at 23 weeks the tumour was shutting her heart down and causing her to go into cardiac failure,” Boemer said.
While other doctors at different hospitals recommended termination of the pregnancy, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, pediatric surgeon and co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center and Dr. Darrell Cass, explained the surgery option, having performed one seven years ago.
“If we didn’t choose the option of surgery that night within a day or two she would pass,” Boemer said.
“So it was a choice of allowing the tumour to take over her body or giving her a chance at life and so that’s what we chose to give her a chance.”
At 23 weeks in her pregnancy, Boemer had her baby surgically removed from her womb and the tumour taken out. The baby was then returned to her mother’s womb and Boemer remained on bed rest for 12 weeks, before delivering her baby via C-section at week 36.
LynLee was whisked away and examined by the doctors as soon as she was born. She was deemed healthy and was placed in the nursery with the other newborns.
At eight days old, LynLee had another minor surgery to remove the bits of tumour that could not be reached earlier.
“She had more surgery and they were able to remove the rest of the tumour and kind of reconstruct how things looked and moved her muscles around and everything to fill in where the tumour was,” Boemer said.
LynLee was seen with her parents on Oct. 21 nursing and being weighed on.
“How exciting it is that she’s made it through and not only made it through but done so well,” Boemer said. “It’ll be exciting to see how she grows up and what she does,” she added.
Lynlee recovered in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and was able to go home just weeks after her surgery. The family, from Lewisville, Texas, is now enjoying life at home as a family of five and they come to Texas Children’s for checkups as Lynlee grows, the hospital said in a statement.
Hospital officials say the type of tumour LynLee had occurs in one of only 40,000 pregnancies. Its cause is unknown but baby girls are affected four times more often than boys.
HT: Will Morrow