Unborn baby taken out of mom’s womb for life-saving tumor surgery

/ 02:37 PM October 25, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 2.14.52 PM

Photo from Facebook/Margaret Hawkins Boemer

A baby from Lewisville, Texas, USA, may be able to lay claim to two birthdays after being removed from her mother’s womb twice.

Prior to being “officialy” born over the weekend, baby Lynlee Hope was taken out of Margaret Boemer’s womb to perform a delicate procedure in her tail bone.


According to a BBC news report, Boemer was going through a routine ultrasound 16 weeks into her pregnancy when doctors told her that her unborn child was suffering from a rare condition and needed surgery to survive.

Lynlee was diagnosed with sacrococcygeal teratoma, a tumor that diverts blood from the fetus, raising the risk of fatal heart failure. The unusual occurrence is only recorded in one out of 35,000 births.


Doctors also discovered that the tumor and the baby were “competing” for blood, therefore making it crucial to operate on Lynlee before she was born.

In a grueling five-hour operation, surgeons delicately removed the growth from the baby, who only weighed 1 lb and 3 oz at the time. Her heart was slowed down while specialist kept her alive during the 20 minutes that she was out of the womb, before putting her back and sewing up her mother’s uterus.

The tumor and the unborn baby were almost the same size at the time of operation, the report said.

Twelve weeks after the surgery, a healthy Lynlee Hope was delivered through caesarean section and weighed 5 lb and 5 oz.

Boemer, meanwhile, was originally expecting to have twins but lost one of her babies before the second trimester.

Due to her baby’s delicate condition, doctors advised her to terminate the pregnancy entirely, until doctors at Texas Children’s Fetal Center suggested the risky surgery. Lylee was only given a 50-percent survival rate.

“Lynlee didn’t have much of a chance. At 23 weeks, the tumor was shutting her heart down and causing her to go into cardiac failure, so it was a choice of allowing the tumor to take over her body or giving her a chance at life,” Boemer recalled about her daughter’s tough predicament.


“It was an easy decision for us. We wanted to give her life.”

At eight days old, Lynlee was subjected to another operation to remove small bits of tumor that were left over and that had started growing. As of this writing, doctors have given the green light for her to come home to her family.  Khristian Ibarrola

TOPICS: Baby, born twice, Lynlee Hope, rare condition, sacrococcygeal teratoma, Texas USA, tumour
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.