Woman's World

Faith, love and science worked a miracle for baby Maeve!

It was the most difficult time of Kelly Seabold’s life: Her unborn baby girl required surgery before she was even born just to survive. But faith, love and science, she learned, can work miracles . . .

- —Kristin Higson-hughes

In the dim light of the ultrasound room, Kelly Seabold lay on the table for her 20-week scan.

After a perfectly healthy first pregnancy that blessed her and her husband, Dan, with twin boys, the Avon Lake, Ohio, mom couldn’t wait to see this new “singleton”—though they didn’t want to know if Brady and Bryce were having a little brother or sister.

“We want to be surprised,” Kelly smiled.

There was the baby’s spine, like a string of pearls. The beating heart. Suddenly, the technician froze . . . then left the room—leaving Kelly to panic: What’s wrong with our baby?

Praying for healing

A few moments later, the doctor came in. “See this circle here? There’s a rare tumor called a sacrococcy­geal teratoma [SCT] on your baby’s tailbone.”

Though they were both nurses, Kelly and Dan had never heard of SCT.

The doctor couldn’t say what caused it, although it happened far more frequently in girls.

We’re having a girl? Kelly realized. All her life, she had dreamed of having a daughter she’d name Maeve. In Irish legend, Maeve had been a warrior queen. Now this little girl would need that strength.

The plan was to monitor the tumor and remove it after birth, her obstetrici­an determined.

That night, Kelly logged into the hospital’s online medical library. She needed to be prepared. And when she typed in SCT, one name kept appearing: Scott Adzick, M.D., at Children’s Hospital of Philadelph­ia (CHOP.)

“If anything happens, we have to go there,” she told Dan.

In the coming weeks, Kelly and Dan tried to proceed with life as usual. But in just a few weeks, Maeve’s tumor had quadrupled. The pressure was causing her heart to dangerousl­y enlarge, as well as compromisi­ng other organs. The best option now was in utero surgery.

“We have to get to Phi ladelphia,” Kelly and Dan agreed, and began packing. By the next afternoon, with their boys settled with relatives, Dr. Adzick was examining Kelly.

“We could do fetal surgery. But you must know: There is a very small chance your baby will survive.”

Yet without it, Maeve had even less of a chance, Kelly knew.

The next morning, Kelly—now 25 weeks along— was rolled into the OR. As if performing a C-section, Dr. Adzick made an incision in Kelly’s uterus.

The intention was to remove as much of the tumor as possible while tiny Maeve remained safely inside Kelly—but he discovered that the tumor, now as big as Maeve herself, had ruptured in two places! The baby was losing so much blood, Dr. Adzick and his surgical team had to give her transfusio­ns through her umbilical cord. And as if things couldn’t get any more dire, little Maeve’s heart stopped! Performing cardiac compressio­ns to get it started again, Dr. Adzick refused to give up until Maeve was stabilized. Finally, he

stitched Kelly back up. When he emerged, Dr. Adzick was honest.

“It was very, very difficult—as tough an operation as I’ve ever done,” he told Dan. Yet Maeve had held on. That’s our little warrior! Kelly thought.

Miracles all around!

Because the trauma of surgery increased the risk of premature delivery, Kelly was put on bed rest.

The first goal had been to just get through the week. But after that, as the days stacked into more weeks, every test showed Maeve growing even stronger. And Kelly could feel it because without the enormous tumor restrictin­g her movement, Maeve was in constant motion, kicking like a tiny soccer player!

Finally, seven weeks after surgery—at 32 weeks— doctors decided that because Maeve’s amniotic sac was pressing on her umbilical cord, it was time.

Please, please, we’ve come this far. Let our baby girl be well! Kelly prayed.

Four-pound, four-ounce Maeve was born via C-section, screaming her tiny lungs out.

“She’s here!” they showed the boys by video, and their jaws dropped to see their little sister.

A week later, Maeve underwent another surgery to reconstruc­t where the benign tumor had been removed. And soon, she could go home!

Today, Maeve is a perfectly healthy 18-month-old who loves dancing to Paw Patrol and flipping through her favorite book, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear.” And in her room, she often points at the framed photos of Dr. Adzick and the other doctors who saved her life.

“I look at Maeve and know what heroes they truly are,” marvels Kelly. “Before she was even born, Maeve was a survivor. Now she’s a flatout miracle, and he is our miracle worker!”

You are laden with beginnings. There is hope you!” in LOLA RIDGE

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? “Maeve is proof miracles do happen,” says Kelly. Inset: Kelly and Dan with Maeve at a hospital reunion.
“Maeve is proof miracles do happen,” says Kelly. Inset: Kelly and Dan with Maeve at a hospital reunion.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States