A baby is doing well after she was effectively born twice when she was removed from the womb for an emergency operation - and placed back in again afterwards.
Lynlee Boemer was taken out of her mum Margaret to remove a tumour growing on her tailbone that threatened to kill her.
Mrs Boemer found out that her baby was suffering from rare birth defect sacrococcygeal teratoma when she was 16 weeks pregnant.
The growth, that occurs in about one out of 30,000-70,000 live births, can usually be removed after birth but Lynlee’s tumour had begun to take over her blood supply and was putting her heart under severe strain.
Miracle baby: The tot was removed from the womb for life-saving surgery (Paul Vincent Kuntz/Texas Children’s Hospital)
Mrs Boemer, from Plano, Texas, did not want an abortion so doctors decided to operate on the baby while her mother was just 23 weeks and five days pregnant.
She told CNN: “Lynlee didn’t have much of a chance. At 23 weeks, the tumour was shutting her heart down and causing her to go into cardiac failure, so it was a choice of allowing the tumour to take over her body or giving her a chance at life.
“It was an easy decision for us. We wanted to give her life.”
Dr Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Centre and his surgical partner Dr Oluyinka Olutoye, operated for five hours on the 1lb 3oz foetus to remove the tumour.
Recovering: Lynlee is now at home with her family following her operations (Paul Vincent Kuntz/Texas Children’s Hospital)
Dr Cass said: “It ended up that the baby was hanging out in the air… Essentially, the foetus is outside, like completely out, all the amniotic fluid falls out, it’s actually fairly dramatic.”
After most of the tumour was removed, Lynlee was placed back inside the womb and was “born again” by caesarean section in June.
Doctors operated on the baby again when she was eight days old to remove the rest of the tumour that they couldn’t reach during the first operation.
Lynlee is now recovering well with her family at home.
Top pic: Paul Vincent Kuntz/Texas Children’s Hospital