She’s a Survivor: Baby Born Twice

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You know you’re tough when you survive cancer surgery before being officially born.

Meghan Koerick, Staff Reporter

Lynlee Boemer is the baby who was “born” twice.

During an ultrasound, Texas hospital doctors discovered a tumor in the tailbone of Margaret Boemer’s unborn child and conducted a operation that saved the baby’s life. The tumor was sacrococcygeal teratoma, as the mass grew bigger the only choice was to do the operation and risk the infant’s life.

Sacrococcygeal teratoma is most common in girls and occur 1 in every 35,000 to 40,000 live births. In severe cases like Lynlee’s the tumor “steals” blood from fetal circulation, causing the heart to work extra hard and making cardiac failure possible.

The Boemers have two kids, but have had a miscarriage too, so they were delighted to find out they were having twins. Unfortunately Mrs. Boemer lost one of the babies before the second trimester. Even though the Boemers live in Texas, an extremely anti-abortion state, the mother was initially advised to terminate the entire pregnancy instead of risky surgery. Lynlee was given only a 50% chance of living.

According to CNN, “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. It was an easy decision for us: We wanted to give her life,” said Mrs Boemer.

Lynlee’s heart did stop during the surgery but a heart specialist kept her alive for most of the surgery while the tumor was removed. Then the team placed her back into her mother’s womb and sewed her uterus back up, with the baby being out for 20 minutes.

Mrs Boemer was on bed rest for twelve weeks after that. Lynlee was born (via c-section) for the second time at the beginning of June, weighing 5lb and 5oz.  She endured another surgery to remove tumor remnants at only eight days old, and spent the first weeks of her life in the hospital.

According to BBC coverage, Dr. Cass, spokesman for the Texas Children’s Fetal Center, said the baby girl was now home and thriving. “Baby Boemer is still an infant but is doing beautiful,” he confirmed.

Lynlee is now almost five months old and enjoying life with her parents and two sisters. She is healthy and meeting all her expectations.