Here at Find The Good we share good news, but this story that broke over the weekend is not good news, it is potentially life-changing news. It was reported by the Cleveland Clinic’s Fetal Center that on June 3rd a baby that had undergone the hospitals first ever fetal surgery for spina bifida back in February. This surgery was performed when the child was at 23 weeks gestation still in her mother’s womb.
Anyone that has children know that spina bifida is usually uncovered when doing scans of the child’s anatomy usually around 18 weeks. Spina bifida occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. It presents life long issues for the child and the average life span of someone suffering from it is around 30 – 40 years.
By performing the incredibly complex surgery in utero, the child was allowed to continue to grow and develop naturally in the womb. The doctors at the clinic were clear that the surgery did not “cure” spina bifida, but the surgery does offer hope for families.
As a father of two I remembered vividly both of my children’s anatomy scans. You’re watching the monitor just praying that the doctor doesn’t point out any anomalies and that everything is normal. Spina bifida is just one of many potential defects the doctors could uncover. Each year approximately 1,645 babies are born with spina bifida in the U.S. and this surgery will provide hope for families in what has historically been a hopeless situation.