First Baby To Have Tumor Successfully Removed While In His Mother’s Womb Turns 3

3 years ago, when Katie Rice saw a room full of waiting doctors, she knew the results of her 20-week ultrasound weren’t good. She could never have imagined the huge decision she would have to make that day.

Shortly after getting the great news that she was going to have a little boy, the medical staff gave her some terrible news. Her child had a tumor on his heart, an incredibly rare illness called pericardial teratoma, that endangered both his life, and Katie’s.

Doctors gave Katie the option to have surgery to remove the tumor from her little boy’s heart, while warning her that this operation was yet to be successful for other patients.

Katie was warned that the risky abdominal surgeries would have to be done just months of each other, and could hurt Katie’s chance of having other children.

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Bravely, the mother-to-be decided to go ahead with the operation and doctors acted swiftly to perform the surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“With the surgery, at least the baby had a little bit of a chance,” she explained.

“We thought that we would just go for it and hope for the best.”

Now, Tucker is a happy and health 3-year-old boy.

“He is full of energy,” Katie says of him. “He is a typical boy.”

According to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Katie and Tucker’s operation is the first successful tumor removal from within the womb.