It’s one of those count your blessings and go hug your kids kind of stories.
When Dawn Flemming, 35, was still pregnant six months ago, her baby daughter was given no chance of survival because of a mango-sized tumor that stretched the length of her neck. Doctors explained that it blocked the baby’s pencil-thin airways, which would make it impossible for her to breathe once it became detached from the placenta.
Since she wasn’t able to get a legal abortion at that point, Dawn sought a second opinion, and she ended up signing up for a rare and risky surgery at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, where doctors partially delivered her baby through a c-section 10 weeks later and inserted a tube into her airways, which enabled the baby to breathe on her own.
A team of 24 doctors had a 1-hour window to insert the tube into the baby’s mouth while she was still attached to the umbilical cord. However, they did it in just four.
“We had no idea what we were getting into,” said one of the surgeons, according to the New York Daily News. The doctors feared once they were in there they would find that the tumor had crushed the airways, which would have forced them to make in incision in the baby’s neck to slice out some of the tumor. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.
That type of surgery was first conducted in the mid-‘90s, and is now done at just 20 institutions nationwide.
When she was born, baby Jade weight 4 pounds, and 20% of her weight was made up of the tumor. Five days later the mass was removed and she remained in the hospital for two months.
Now, at four months old, Jade weighs in at 12-pounds and is healthy and normal.
“I have a greater appreciation for life and the anxiety patients go through,” Dawn said. “When she grows up she’s going to be a fighter because she’s overcome so much. She’s just a miracle.”
Have you gone and hugged your little miracle(s) yet? What are you waiting for?