One mom was originally told that her baby would not survive long past his delivery because of a rare condition that made it difficult for him to breathe. But she found an amazing group of surgeons that would perform a surgery most thought would be impossible.
Mrs. Sanchez found a team of surgeons that would actually perform surgery on her baby while he was still in his mother’s womb.
“When Sanchez was 34 weeks pregnant with Blake, doctors discovered that he had large tumors pressing on his neck and chest. The tumors were potentially blocking off the airway passages for Blake. When he was in the womb, Blake was protected as all of his blood was oxygenated through his umbilical cord. However, once he was delivered Blake would likely be unable to breathe on his own,” according to ABC.
But Mrs. Sanchez did not lose hope. She searched for a solution and finally she found a rather incredible one- womb surgery just before delivery.
ABC explains, “To save Blake, doctors could perform a rare surgery during the delivery called the EXIT procedure. Standing for Ex-Utero Intrapartum Treatment, the EXIT procedure involves performing surgery on the infant when they are out of the uterus but before the umbilical cord has been clamped.”
Performing the surgery was tricky as well as risky.
ABC reports, “Once Sanchez was under anesthesia, doctors had to figure out how to keep Sanchez’s body from going into delivery mode, which could compromise Blake's health if doctors had not established an airway. To ‘trick’ her body, doctors flushed warm saline solution into her uterus so that they had time to attend to Blake before clamping the umbilical cord. Doctors partially delivered Blake, gave him a sedative and then intubated him to establish an airway in about 15 minutes. They delivered Blake and cut the umbilical cord before whisking him to the neonatal intensive care unit. Although doctors were able to establish an airway, Blake wasn’t completely out of the woods yet. The large tumors were not cancerous, but they were filled with fluid that could not be easily drained and were pressing on Blake’s lungs. It took nearly three months before doctors were able to try an experimental medication that diminished tumors. Sanchez and her husband Chris Sanchez, weren’t even able to hold their son until he was 2 months old.” The Sanchez family feels extremely blessed that the surgery went well as the mortality rate for this type of procedure is actually quite high.