Minnesota doctors recently saved a baby boy’s life by performing surgery on him while he was still in the womb.
Today, baby Jabari is thriving at home with his parents, Bak and Trina Bak, of St. Paul, Fox News 9 reports.
But several months ago, the Bak family did not know if their son would even survive to birth.
Half way into Trina Bak’s pregnancy, Jabari was diagnosed with a rare lower urinary tract obstruction, according to the report.
“We found out about LUTO, lower urinary tract obstruction, at his 20-week ultrasound,” she told the local news.
Doctors explained that the condition was not only blocking the baby’s bladder but also stopping amniotic fluid from being developed, and, without it, his lungs were not developing properly. They recommended surgery and told the Baks that their son could die if something was not done soon, the report states.
“It was really hard, it was a really difficult conversation to have and a really difficult reality,” his mother said.
Trina and Jabari were placed under the care of Dr. Saul Snowise, the medical director at the Midwest Fetal Care Center, and at 21 weeks of pregnancy, they underwent surgery, according to the report.
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With a live ultrasound to guide their work, Snowise said they used an amniocentesis needle to go through the womb and place a shunt in Jabari’s bladder. He said the shunt allowed Jabari’s bladder to process his urine and develop amniotic fluid, which, in turn, helped his lungs to develop.
At 34 weeks of pregnancy, Trina gave birth and named their son Jabari, which means hope, according to the report.
Since then, the infant underwent an additional surgery, but otherwise his parents said he is doing well.
His father said Jabari’s birth was especially emotional for him, knowing that his son almost died.
“Going from we were going to lose him to actually seeing him,” Bak told the news outlet. “… I was trying not to cry in front of a million doctors. We are just glad he is healthy and safe.”
Thanks to modern medical advances, many babies like Jabari have a better chance at life. In utero surgeries now are being done across the world to help babies with spina bifida, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and other life-threatening conditions.