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Doctors perform first-ever life saving brain surgery on unborn baby

Image credit: Live Action 

Doctors in the US performed the first-ever brain surgery on an unborn baby girl in the womb, which saved her life.

According to Live Action, the unborn baby girl, who her parents named Denver, was diagnosed with vein of Galen malformation (VOGM) at 30 weeks gestation, which is a rare blood vessel malformation in the brain. Approximately half of babies diagnosed with this condition cannot be treated, and sadly pass shortly after birth, however those who can be treated can more often survive.

“Over time the vein essentially blows up like a balloon,” said Darren Orbach, a radiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts who treats babies born with the condition. “All of a sudden there’s this enormous burden placed right on the newborn heart. Most babies with this condition will become very sick, very quickly.”

Usually, doctors will attempt to perform the surgery to correct the malformation after birth, however, sometimes it can be too late.

After receiving the diagnosis, parents of baby Denver, Derek and Kenyatta Coleman, signed up for a clinical trial in Boston’s Children’s hospital, with the hopes of saving their unborn child’s life.

During the surgery, baby Denver was given pain relief and medication to keep her still, and according to Orbach, she showed immediate signs of improvement.

Although her parents were still worried about her health, two days after the surgery, Kenyatta went into premature labour, and baby Denver was born weighing just 4 pounds. After two months, she is thriving and doctors believe that she will have no further need of medical intervention.

“I heard her cry for the first time and that just, I – I can’t even put into words how I felt at that moment,” Kenyatta said, speaking about Denver’s birth. “It was just, you know, the most beautiful moment being able to hold her, gaze up on her and then hear her cry.”

Her father Derek added, “I gave her a kiss and she was just making little baby noises and stuff. That was all I needed right there.”

“She’s shown us from the very beginning that she was a fighter,” Kenyatta added. “[S]he’s demonstrated … “Hey, I wanna be here.’”

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