By Dave Andrusko
Not to pick on the medical profession as a profession, but where have you heard this before? A baby, Angel Gomez, is alive—and doing well—but wouldn’t be here at all if the mother had listened to her doctor.
Yesenia Torres was 21 weeks pregnant when (as she told KPIX 5) her doctor told her that because the large mass growing in her baby’s chest made breathing impossible, the baby could not survive. According to Torres, he (or she) said, “it would be better to have an abortion.”
But Torres told KPIX 5’s John Ramos, “I thought I would get a second opinion”—in this instance Stanford’s University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, where the staff agreed to try to save Angel.
The staff didn’t discount the reality that Angel’s life was in grave danger.
“Given the space-occupying lesion of the tumor, I wouldn’t think the baby would be able to survive,” Dr. Jane Chueh, the hospital’s director of prenatal diagnosis, told Ramos.
No sooner had the baby been delivered (nearly six weeks early) than Angel was rushed from one operating room to another. “There, surgeons opened Angel’s tiny chest and removed the mass before he ever took his first real breath,” Ramos reported. As of last week, the baby is happily breathing on his own.
Why? According to Ramos because his mother had “the courage to question a doctor’s decision.”
Torres said, “It is hard. But I said, it can’t be possible, you know, doctors also make mistakes.”
Torres told Ramos, “she didn’t give up because she knew her son was a fighter, and in this case, it takes one to know one.”
Said lead surgeon Dr. Karl Sylvester,”At the end of the day, it’s a personal decision and it’s really a matter of human trust”—meaning, “Do I feel good about what these people are telling me?”
As of last week Angel was still learning to take feedings by mouth. “Once he can, Angel should be able to go home and live a normal life,” Ramos wrote