Baby girl Lynlee Hope
Born in June this year, this baby girl Lynlee Hope was operated as a 23-weeks-old foetus, as giant SCT tumour was stopping her heart beat.Facebook/Margaret Hawkins Boemer

A baby girl, named Lynlee Hope, was born "twice" in the US. This miracle happened after a revolutionary operation was carried out to save her when she was just 23 weeks and five days old. The doctors operated the baby while she was outside her mother's womb for 20 minutes.

The 16 weeks pregnant mother of this baby, Margaret Boemer, was informed that her baby had a type of tumour, called sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT), which grows from the unborn infant's tail bone.

"This is the most common tumour we see in a newborn. Even though it's the most common we see, it's still pretty rare," said Darrell Cass, co-director of Texas Children's Foetal Centre and associate professor at Baylor College Medicine in the US, according to PTI.

This tumour competes with the growth of the baby while feeding on the baby's blood flow, Cass explained.

"In some instances, the tumour wins and the heart just can't keep up and the heart goes into failure and the baby dies," he said.

The mother revealed that this life-threatening tumour was shutting down the heart of the baby, which was leading to cardiac failure. She had to make a choice whether to get her operated or let the tumour snatch her life away, as quoted by CNN.

The mother opted for the option to get the 23 weeks and five-day-old foetus operated. The size of the SCT tumour was larger than the baby. This ground-breaking surgery lasted for around five hours. Doctors Darrell Cass and Oluyinka Olutoye were carrying out the operation and they said that majority of the time was spent on opening the uterus and hardly 20 minutes were spent on operating the foetus.

The bulk of tumour was so large that the doctors had to make a big cut in order to reach it, hence they removed the baby outside the womb instead. The foetus was placed back to the mother's womb after being operated and the mother's uterus was sewed.

The foetus finally developed completely after 12 weeks in June, the baby took birth via C-section and was named Lynlee Hope.

Here are a few facts about the sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) tumour:

  • It develops at the tailbone of infants less than five-months-old
  • The tumour is said to be observed in every one out of 35,000 live births
  • Instances of the SCT tumour developing in adults have been reported too
  • Out of all cases SCTs are found to be fatal only 12 percent of the times
  • This tumour can be treated only by being removed surgically