Trigger warning: Article deals with baby birth defect and contains graphic pictures.
An Illinois baby was born with a 5-inch growth on her neck and it was successfully removed by doctors shortly after her birth.
The birth defect is known as a cystic hygroma and for weeks, the baby's parents watched as a giant cyst-filled sac on their unborn daughter’s neck swelled to be larger than her head, according to Fox News. Astonished parents Tabitha Pilarski and Daniel Burgess first found out during a 20-week ultrasound that their unborn daughter, Bella-Rose, had a cystic hygroma that would need to be removed immediately after her birth.
“She’s our miracle baby, she’s such a fighter and has defied all of the odds, we had to stay positive for her throughout the entire pregnancy,” Pilarski, 24, told Caters News.
Lymphatic malformations consist of multiple lymphatic cysts. These cysts consist of many lymphatic vessels which do not connect to the normal lymphatic circulation.
A cystic hygroma, or lymphangioma, is a birth defect that looks like a sac-like structure with a thin wall that most commonly occurs in the head and neck region of an infant. Lymphatic malformations consist of multiple lymphatic cysts. These cysts consist of many lymphatic vessels which do not connect to the normal lymphatic circulation.
Treatment usually involves surgery, but in some cases the growth can invade other parts of the neck, making it impossible to operate. Doctors may then choose treatment with chemotherapy medications, radiation therapy, steroids or injection of sclerosing medications.
In little Bella's case, by the time she was born on Aug. 27, the growth had reached over 5 inches in size. Her whole family was in shock.
“During the delivery they had 40 doctors watching who were in separate teams working on their own part of the birth, it was terrifying,” Burress told Caters. “I was not allowed in the operating room, I must have paced three or four miles around the hospital whilst the birth was happening. As soon as I saw Bella come out of the room I was crying like a child, it was very emotional. I was sick to my stomach when I first saw the growth because I was in so much shock, I expected a tennis ball-sized growth, but it was twice the size of her head.”
“The doctors knew how big it was going to be, but we didn’t, they said they had a plan and as long as the plan worked Bella would be fine,” Pilarski told Caters.
According to her parents, miracle baby Bella is now on her way to a full recovery. The couple admitted that the experience had made them stronger. Now, they just want to watch Bella grow up and enjoy a normal life.