HomeoldPotentially fatal condition remedied in utero, California baby now home and healthy

Potentially fatal condition remedied in utero, California baby now home and healthy

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It is impossible to imagine the heartache Khae Saetern-Angeles and her husband Bobby experienced when they learned their unborn son had a deadly amount of fluid in his chest.

They had struggled with infertility for years, ABC 10’s Monica Jacquez reports, losing two babies to miscarriage and a stillborn girl in the past three years.

“It was scary,” Bobby said. “To think that something could happen and not be able to be there if I needed to be.”

The diagnosis of hydrops fetalis was made during an ultrasound scan. The condition can lead to fetal heart failure.

“Without the relief of that [excess fluid], he [baby Matthew] would not have survived the pregnancy,” Dr Diana Farmer, a fetal surgeon and director of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, told Fox 40’s Sara Zendehnam.

“Everything happens so fast, you really don’t have time to digest everything,” Khae told reporter Adrienne Moore of the CBS affiliate in Sacramento. “We had our concerns and we had our questions, but ultimately we let the doctor decide what was in the best interest of the baby and my health.”

In September, Dr Shinjiro Hirose performed the fetal surgery, the first for UC Davis Children’s Hospitals new Fetal Care and Treatment Center.

At 32 weeks, Dr Hirose made a tiny incision in Khae’s abdomen and used a small catheter to drain the fluid. Khae was awake the whole time.

“I just prayed that everything would go well and that he would be okay,” Khae told Jacquez.

Matthew, which means “gift from God”, was born on 28 September. “He’s a miracle,” said Khae. “He’s our miracle baby.”

(“Doctors found a mass in Matthew’s lung and believe that’s the cause of his condition,” Zendehnam said. “He will have another operation in a few months to remove the mass and is expected to make a full recovery.”)

After two months in the neonatal intensive care unit at UC Davis, Matthew went home healthier than ever.

“As soon as we got in the car, we took a picture of each other and the baby, like we’re on our way home, this is really happening,” Bobby said.

Khae added: “We had the baby on board sign and walking in and putting him in his cot was an amazing feeling.

Editor’s note. For stories throughout the day, go directly to nationalrighttolifenews.org.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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