Doctors save the lives of these twins with a very unusual and risky procedure during their C-section delivery.
The odds were against Jenessa and Genesis when doctors saw a teratoma, a benign but fast-growing tumor, on Jenessa & # 39; s neck during their 13-week scan.
It threatened to choke Jenessa, and there was a risk that Genesis would become one too.
If they were delivered in March, one or both of them would have been born dead.
Even worse, the pressure the tumor exerted on Jenessa meant that there was a risk that she would die as soon as the umbilical cord was cut.
In an attempt to save both of them, a multiple operator team at the Chicago Institute for Fetal Health and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children & # 39; s Hospital in Chicago performed a delicate EXIT (ex utero intrapartum treatment) delivery at 29 weeks in December, followed by six months in hospitalization before they could go home in June.
Doctors in Chicago saw a teratoma, a benign but fast-growing tumor, on Jenessa & # 39; s neck during her 13-week scan. By the time she was born at 29 weeks, it was as big as her head
The tumor threatened to choke Jenessa (left, with her mother Theodora) in the womb, and there was a risk that Genesis (right, with her father Epimenio) would also develop one
Instead of opening the uterus to deliver the baby & # 39; s, as standard for caesarean section, the team first made a smaller incision in the uterus.
It was just enough to gain access to Jenessa's small mouth to insert a breathing tube and her hand to infuse while Genesis remained stable inside.
Then they went ahead and cut her umbilical cord and waved her off for surgery to remove her tumor, which was about the same size as her head, while Genesis was released.
Their parents, Theodora and Epimenio, from a neighborhood just south of Chicago, were stunned when doctors told them that this bleak diagnosis was treatable.
& # 39; It was a scary time, but we would go ahead and do everything we had to do to get my girls into the world & # 39 ;, said Theodora, according to the hospital blog.
& # 39; I didn't know this type of operation was even possible!
It was a success. Genesis required three months of care in the NICU to build her strength before she could go home. Jenessa had a number of setbacks, which required a tracheostomy and a feeding probe. Finally, in June, she was ready to go home
Doctors predict that Jenessa will soon be strong enough to remove both her trach and gastrotomy
& # 39; When I finally got Dr. With Shaaban and the team, I felt comfortable because they had a plan. Before I came here, I wondered what would happen to my girls, but the team at the fetal institute had their plan, figured out what to do, and they got it done. & # 39;
It was a success.
Genesis required three months of care in the NICU to build her strength before she could go home.
Jenessa had a number of setbacks, which required a tracheostomy and a feeding tube.
Finally, in June, she was ready to go home, and doctors predict that she will soon be strong enough to have removed both her trach and gastrotomy.
According to Dr. Shaaban, the result was the & # 39; greatest success we could hope for & # 39 ;.
& # 39; I am so happy for her, & # 39; said Dr. Shaaban, referring to Theodora.
& # 39; She told us that the most important thing is to take home the baby & # 39; s that God gave her. And she has. & # 39;
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