by Hans Johnson

Dr. Scott Adzick (pictured right), chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, helped pioneer the field of fetal surgery in the early 1980s. He says:

The idea arose from the frustration of caring for babies after birth and realizing it was too late: the damage was already done. We had to get to the baby earlier, while still inside mom.

A Wisconsin couple, April and Jason Leffingwell, learned after a 20-week sonogram that their son Elijah had a tumor in his right lung. While in most cases the tumor could be removed post-birth, this one kept growing. To April the decision was certain: “There wasn’t a choice in our head. We weren’t going to abort, and we weren’t going to let a tumor kill our child. We were going to do everything we could to save our child.”

At 25 weeks, Elijah was removed from his mother’s womb and operated upon. At one point his heart had to be revived. Returned to his mother, he was officialy born prematurely at 33 weeks, and is growing stronger every day. See Elijah’s story here:


Read the inspiring story of the development of fetal surgery in The Daily Signal.

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[HT: Susie Allen; photo of Dr. Adzick via]

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