St. Louis baby diagnosed with rare brain tumor survives after surgery – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A baby in St. Louis was given a life-threatening diagnosis before he was born when doctors found a tumor in his brain.
In March 2020, single mom Emily Murray performed artificial insemination to start her family. Murray became pregnant with their daughter Elizabeth a day before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down.
During a routine ultrasound just a few weeks before the baby was due, doctors found a mass in the baby’s brain.
“It always felt like, in a weird way, things were going to be okay, no matter how bad they were,” says Murray.
Elizabeth was diagnosed with a very rare congenital brain tumor and was immediately referred to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital fetal care team.
“We couldn’t diagnose her because she was so small and because the tumor was in her brain,” says Murray.
In November 2020, baby Elizabeth was born.
The doctors said she was too small to have the tumor removed immediately.
As her health condition partially deteriorated, she underwent surgery at the age of 5 months.
The tumor was the size of a grapefruit.
“We were wondering how much of the tumor you got, and she said, oh, we got the whole thing,” says Murray. “You talk about moments when you need a minute. That was a moment that took me a minute.”
Doctors at Children’s say patients with a brain tumor that develops in the uterus have a 7-12% survival rate.
Elizabeth’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Jennifer Strahle says injuring part of the brain during surgery could have resulted in a stroke.
“There are really only a few cases of tumors like hers that have been successfully treated and survived,” says Dr. rays. “In the beginning, when we understood how the tumor worked and what type of tumor it was, we were dealing with a very serious diagnosis for Elizabeth.”
Murray says the tumor was in the center of Elizabeth’s brain, meaning doctors weren’t sure what neurological implications it would have.
But in recent months, her cognitive development, language skills and fine motor skills have increased rapidly.
“All of these aspects of her development are consistent with children her age, and in fact, in a recent assessment of her cognitive abilities, the therapist outperforms children her age,” says Murray.
Now two-year-old Elizabeth is still working on her strengths with physical and occupational therapy after she was also diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy on her right side.
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