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DALLAS - A team of doctors performed successful open surgery on an unborn baby boy in his mother’s womb, the first procedure of its kind in north Texas, WFAA reported.
The “open fetal surgery” on Uriah in June helped repair the spine of the infant, who was diagnosed with spina bifida when his mother was 18 weeks pregnant, the television station reported.
“It's amazing, it's a great feeling," Sarah Prowell, Uriah's mother, told WFAA.
Prowell and her boyfriend, Sean Kirby, were distressed to learn her unborn baby was diagnosed with the birth defect that prevents the spinal cord from properly forming and can lead to paralysis.
"We were both pretty distraught at first because I was just worried about his life -- the road ahead of him," Kirby told WFAA.
However, doctors at the Fetal Care Center at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas saw an opportunity.
"Back when I was in medical schools none of this was being done," Kevin Magee, a specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine, told WFAA. "To think that this could be done today and to be done with this quality of outcomes is really exciting -- exciting not for the physicians but exciting for the families and for that little child.”
"We can intervene and save the baby’s life or prevent ongoing injury to the babies organs that's going severely compromise them for the rest of their lives," Timothy Crombleholme, of the Fetal Care Center, told the television station.
The surgery, while successful, did not eliminate the defect but repaired damage before it became irreparable, WFAA reported.
Uriah was born premature and had to remain in the hospital for a month. He came home two weeks ago.
"I think the most emotional part of this whole process was sitting in the hospital waiting for him to come home, that was really hard on me,” Prowell told the television station. “Now, I'm just happy that he is here.”
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