An infant girl who underwent spinal surgery while in her mother’s womb was born healthy, according to UK media reports this week.
Georgia Axford, 19, and Tyler Kelly, 21, said the girl had spina bifida, described by health officials as a gap in the spine, when they got an ultrasound in the 20th week of Axford’s pregnancy.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says some can live with no disability, but other people “may even be paralyzed” due to the condition.
According to Gazette Series publication, the couple was advised to get an abortion, but they instead opted to get the surgery. The surgery was not available in the United Kingdom, so the pair had to head to Germany and pay more than $11,000. The baby, named Piper, had the operation in University Hospital Giessen on June 13, and the spinal gap was closed.
“She is doing really well,” Axford said of the girl, according to the Gazette on Nov. 19. “It is beautiful to see her little smile, she is a well behaved little baby and the doctors hope that the operation will help in the years to come.”
Tissues at the ready – a wonderful story to start the week. Piper is a pretty special little girl.
تم النشر بواسطة Gazette Series – Gloucestershire, Thornbury, Yate and Chipping Sodbury في الإثنين، ١٩ نوفمبر ٢٠١٨
She added: “We just can’t describe how grateful we are that people came together. When there is a crisis it was nice to see so many people support us.”
“About a year ago we knew nothing about it, then because of the support we knew about the procedure,” Axford added. “We got messages from all over England and we would advise any of those people that find themselves in the same situation to look at the procedure.”
The operation was expensive, but Kelly said he would make the same decision again.
“Piper is living her life and the doctors have said that her legs do work,” he said. “We know there will be issues down the line but we will have to deal with them when they come.”
The family hopes the girl can sit up by herself in a few months and then they will know if the procedure is a success.
“In a couple of months she’ll be able to sit up by herself so that might help show if it worked,” Axford told the Daily Mail.
“Spina bifida can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born. Spina bifida occulta might not be diagnosed until late childhood or adulthood, or might never be diagnosed,” says the CDC on its website.
It adds: “Spina bifida happens in the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Although folic acid is not a guarantee that a woman will have a healthy pregnancy, taking folic acid can help reduce a woman’s risk of having a pregnancy affected by spina bifida. Because half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, it is important that all women who can become pregnant take 400 mcg of folic acid daily.”
“Spina bifida can range from mild to severe. Some people may have little to no disability. Other people may be limited in the way they move or function. Some people may even be paralyzed or unable to walk or move parts of their body,” it says.