Ababy was “born twice” after being taken out of her mother’s womb for 20 minutes to perform surgery on her spine.
LynLee Hope Boemer, was removed from her mother Margaret Boemer’s womb 23 weeks and five days into a pregnancy so a tumour could be removed from her spine.
After 20 minutes of surgery during which her heart nearly stopped, she was then placed back in the womb and born again three months later.
A routine scan had revealed that LynLee had a a tumour, known as a sacrococcygeal teratoma, at the base of her spine which was almost as big as her.
Several doctors had advised Mrs Boemer to terminate the pregnancy but surgeons at Texas Children’s Fetal Center in Lewsville, Texas decided to attempt to remove the tumour outside the womb.
Mrs Boemer, from Plano, Texas, 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.”
Dr Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center, said LynLee 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.
“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.”
LynLee was born for the second time, by caesarean section, on June 6, and weighed 5lbs 5oz.
Dr Cass said she was healthy, adding: “Baby Boemer is still an infant but is doing beautiful.”
He said the tumour occurs in one out of every 35,000 births.
The surgeon added: “Some of these tumors can be very well tolerated so the foetus has it and can get born with it and we can take it out after the baby’s born.
“But about half of the time they cause problems for the foetus and it’s usually causing problems because of a blood flow problem.”