Baby's health

Newborn Recovering After Rare Heart Surgery

A remarkable 6-pound infant is recovering from a groundbreaking surgery, where doctors successfully removed a tumor the size of a racquetball from her heart, just one day after she was born.

The 2-hour procedure took place at Riley Hospital for Children with a team of highly skilled medical professionals who had been preparing for this operation since the tumor was discovered during a routine ultrasound in October.

Led by cardio-thoracic surgeon John Brown, the team revealed that the tumor was 11/2 to two times the size of the baby’s heart, which is about as big as a plump strawberry. This case of a cardiac teratoma tumor is one of only 46 similar cases recorded in medical history.

“This is the largest tumor we’ve seen in this category,” said Brown. “The size of the tumor overshadowed the entire heart, stretching across the little girl’s chest.”

For parents Paje and Chris Felts, the past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions. “We were scared and upset,” admitted Paje Felts, the mother of the newborn. The couple has only been able to hold their daughter, who remains on a ventilator, once.

Fortunately, initial tests have shown the tumor to be benign, and microscopic tumor cells left behind should not grow. According to John Brown, the baby’s future looks very promising.

While it is undoubtedly distressing that a newborn had to undergo such a traumatic surgery at such a young age, there is solace in knowing that the tumor was detected early and should not have any long-term effects.

PHOTO CREDIT:Frank Espich / The Star

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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