Baby Boy Royer tucked up one knee and pushed off, seemingly trying to crawl away from the nurses. Born just moments before, it was the type of thing that would make any new parent proud. But for Joshuwa and Lexi, it was more than just a proud moment -- it was confirmation that the experimental new surgery was a success.
Months before, Baby was diagnosed with spina bifida.
As The New York Times reports, “On Sept. 27, as a six-month-old fetus, he underwent experimental surgery while still in his mother’s womb to treat a severe form of spina bifida, in which the tissue that should enclose and protect the spinal column does not form properly.”
This new form of surgery, developed by Drs. Michael Belfort and William Whitehead of Texas Children’s Hospital, differs from traditional treatment for spina bifida in that the surgery itself is conducted on the child inside the womb, as opposed to post-birth.
Just after the prenatal surgery was conducted on Baby Royer last September, The New York Times explained the new treatment doubles the chances of a child being able to walk independently and reduces the need for a shunt from 82% to 40%.
This is great news! Sadly, the gravest danger these children face is not their physical ailment.
According to a Wayne State University study referenced by LifeNews, 64% of babies diagnosed prenatally with spina bifida are aborted. This is a staggering percentage given spina bifida is rarely fatal. Instead of giving their child a chance at life -- even a life with unique challenges -- more than half of parents decide to take that life from them.
Perhaps this new advancement in medicine, one that will give many children a chance at a normal life, will also help some a chance at having life at all.
Regardless, congratulations to Joshuwa and Lexi Boyer for their happy, healthy baby boy!