Infant undergoes surgery in the womb
Doctors at LSU Health Shreveport witness miracles every day, but one risky birth last week can go down in the record books.
For only the third time in his career and with a team of more than 50 medical experts, Dr. G.E. Ghali performed life-saving surgery on an infant in the womb.
Take away the tape and the tubes, and just eight days after his birth you'd never know little baby Donovan almost didn't make it.
He's alert and growing by the hour now. But, midway through the pregnancy sonograms revealed Donovan had severe birth defects. His jaw was barely formed and he had little to no chance of breathing on his own.
"I just put him in prayer. That's the only thing that I know to do is trust in God," said Donovan's grandmother Brenda Turner.
"It was very concerning. We were concerned that there might be other birth defects," said obstetrician Dr. Rose Brouillette.
Donovan's family prayed while doctors made a plan for what's called an EXIT (Ex-Utero Intrapartum Treatment) procedure to enable him to breathe.
"Historically, since we've been able to identify things through ultra-synography there's been less than 200 of these done in the U.S. in the past decade or so," said Ghali.
The surgery involved a Caesarean birth where donovan's head and shoulders were taken out far enough for surgeons to open up his airway, but he could still rely on his mother to breathe. They only had a 90-minute window to complete the procedure.
Once the procedure was done, doctors took him out and let him breathe on his own.
"I think he's a pretty big success story," said Ghali.
"It's a miracle," said Brenda Turner.
Donovan will need more care in the future to help him grow the rest of his jaw, but thanks to the EXIT surgery he will be able to breath on his own.
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