Margaret Boemer was 16-weeks pregnant when doctors told her that her unborn child had Sacrococcygeal Teratoma.
Sacrococcygeal Teratoma is a tumor that develops before birth and grows from a baby’s tailbone. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, it is the most common tumor found in newborns, occurring in one out of every 35,000 to 40,000 live births.
Surgeon Dr. Darrell Cass at Texas Children’s Hospital tells Click2Houston that when babies are born with Sacrococcygeal Teratoma it is almost always fixable, but when they see it on a developing fetus, the successes become fewer.
The situation became even more dire when Dr. Cass learned Boemer’s daughter, Lynlee, needed “fetal surgery” after a checkup showed she was going into heart failure.
In order for doctors to remove the tumor, they had to remove Boemer’s unborn child from her womb. Boemer explains the decision further to Click2Houston:
“We knew that if we didn’t choose the option of emergency surgery that night, that within a day or so she would pass. Her heart stopped and she had to have blood but they were able to remove most of the tumor and place her back in.”
Thanks to the doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital and a successful surgery, they were able to remove most of the tumor and allow baby Lynlee to grow inside in her mom until she was 36 weeks old.
As Dr. Cass tells CNN:
“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.”
It was at 36 weeks that Boemer was able to give birth again, this time to a healthy baby girl, who is now flourishing outside of the womb almost four months later:
“It was her second birth, basically. It was a relief to finally see her and see that she had made it through all the difficulty that she had and with her heart,” Boemer tells Click2Houston. “After the open fetal surgery her heart had time to heal while I was still pregnant with her so she has no heart issues now and is just doing amazing.”
As CNN reports, the news that Lynlee was going to survive was exactly what Boemer and her family needed to hear after Lynlee’s twin passed away during the second trimester.
Eight days after Lynlee was born, doctors had to remove a part of her tailbone, hoping that would prevent from the tumor growing back. Boemer writes on Facebook that she hopes Lynlee’s story will give other parents hope:
“Our reason for sharing Lynlee’s story is so that others who are given similar news of a diagnosis have hope and information that there are options other than termination. Being advised to terminate your child is the worst thing a parent could be told.
They are not just a clump of cells with issues or medical problems. These are lives, they are babies that need to be given a chance at life.”
Boemer also writes that it was the grace of God that helped carry her family through this difficult time.
And although the pain Boemer and her daughter had to endure was intense, Boemer admits knowing Lynlee is alive and seeing her smile makes it all worth it.