Baby girl, who underwent spinal surgery while still inside her mother’s womb, has defied the doctors who said she wouldn’t be able to use her legs properly by learning how to walk
The baby girl who reportedly underwent spinal surgery while still inside her mother’s womb has defied the doctors and health officials who said she wouldn’t be able to use her legs properly by learning how to walk. The mom said she first found out about the diagnosis after her 20-week scan. The baby’s parents were referred to a fetal medicine doctor who told them their daughter had a neural tube defect and a lemon-shaped head, indicating her condition was severe. They were strongly advised to terminate the pregnancy.
The parents from Indiana, Michelle and Michael Bower, said that they were urged to terminate the pregnancy when they received her diagnosis after the 20-week scan.
But, the parents reportedly ignored the advice and their 19-month-old daughter, Lacey Bower, is already defying her prognosis, even learning to maneuver a custom tiny wheelchair, the Daily Mail reports.
The parents said their little daughter has spina bifida. The 37-year-old mom said she first found out about Lacey’s diagnosis after her 20-week scan.
They were referred to a fetal medicine doctor who told them their daughter had a neural tube defect and a lemon-shaped head, indicating her condition was severe. They were strongly advised to terminate the pregnancy.
Michelle Bower reportedly said: “We had just found out that we were having a girl the day before. We wanted a girl. We went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in under 24 hours. It was a complete and utter nightmare, but we still had hope. We hoped it was the less severe form of the condition until we got more testing done.”
After refusing to lose their daughter, both parents opted for a risky three-and-a-half hour surgery to fix the hole in her spine while she was still in the womb.
Michelle Bower also said: “It sounded completely insane and unfathomable for our financial circumstances and obligations at home. I thought it was crazy!
The rest of the pregnancy was riddled with fear and uncertainty. It was beyond difficult to just enjoy being pregnant. However, from the copious amount of research we did, we knew that the foetal surgery would be her greatest chance at walking one day and her only chance of reversing her Arnold Chiari II malformation.”
The mother then underwent the foetal surgery on April 27, 2020 at the Children’s Hospital in Missouri, with more than 35 medical professionals in the operating room.
Michelle Bower added: “It was quite literally the single most horrifying experience of my life. It was my first time in the hospital and my first surgery. Knowing my unborn baby was having surgery with me made it utterly terrifying.”
The procedure was three-and-a-half hours long and was deemed a success, per reports. The 37-year-old mom had strict orders of bed rest for the next three months until she was due to give birth.
Michelle was given a caesarean section on July 20, 2020 and her newborn was immediately taken to the NICU.
The little girl reportedly started to move her ankles and big toe early on. Unfortunately, it took her a long time to be able to feed on her own meaning she stayed in the NICU for 18 days.
Her parents said that at 19 months, Lacey is speaking at the level of a three-year-old and is learning to walk.
The toddler is partially paralyzed from the waist down and this means she still needs help with going to the toilet, her parents said.
Michelle Bower reportedly said: “Prior to birth, we were told she would have a “poor quality of life” The doctor said there was a good chance she would never be able to eat, breathe unaided, talk, stand or walk. She does more than that doctor ever imagined. She is pulling to stand, and supported standing on her own now.
She can climb up onto the couch and go to town on her rocking horse. The little things that others might somewhat take for granted are the things that dreams are made of for us – that is one of the many blessings that come with SB life. Life with a disabled person is a life worth living.”