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Queens mom counting her blessings after doctors gave her baby no chance of survivng tumor
ny daily news ^ | 04.17.11 | Kathleen Lucadamo

Posted on 05/04/2011 5:55:08 PM PDT by Coleus

Dawn Flemming is counting her blessings.   Just six months ago, the Queens woman's unborn daughter Jade was given no chance of survival because a mango-sized tumor stretched across the baby's neck.  "I could tell something was wrong by the doctors' body language," says Flemming, a 35-year-old nurse from South Ozone Park. "I noticed people coming in, passing looks at each other but not saying anything."  They doomed Jade to die because the tumor blocked her pencil-thin airways, making it impossible for her to breathe once detached from the placenta.

At 24 weeks, it was too late to have a legal abortion, so Flemming asked doctors at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center for a second opinion. They signed her up for a rare and risky surgery where doctors partially delivered Jade through a C-section 10 weeks later and inserted a tube into her airways so she could breathe on her own.  Doctors had 60 minutes to insert the tube through her mouth while Jade remained attached to the umbilical cord.  They did it in four.  "We had no idea what we were getting into," said Vikash Modi, a pediatric head and neck surgeon, noting the team of 24 doctors in the operating room feared the tumor had crushed the airways. That would have forced them to make an incision in the baby's neck to slice out some of the tumor so she could breathe. Fortunately, it hadn't.

"It was an incredible feeling. It's why [we] go into medicine," Modi said, noting it was the first time the procedure, called EXIT (ex-utero intrapartum treatment), was done at the Cornell campus.  It was first conducted in the mid-1990s and has been done a dozen times at New York Presbyterian, one of about 20 institutions nationally that offers the surgery.  "This is a fairly unique procedure," said Stephen Chasen, director of high-risk obstetrics at the hospital.  Once the delivery was complete, Jade weighed 4 pounds - 20% of which was the tumor. Surgeons removed the mass five days later and monitored her in the hospital for two months.

"I could finally breathe again," once the tumor was out, Flemming said. "I felt like something was sitting on my chest since the diagnosis."  As for Jade, she's now a healthy 4-month-old who weighs 12 pounds. Flemming and her husband, Jason, who have a 15-month-old son, also named Jason, and 13-year-old daughter Jayda, are busy, but relieved.  "I have a greater appreciation for life and the anxiety patients go through," Dawn said. "When she grows up she's going to be a fighter because she's overcome so much. She's just a miracle."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New York
KEYWORDS: abortion; exit; newyorkpresbyterian; nyc; prolife; queens; southozonepark; vikashmodi
Dawn Flemming holds baby Jade in their Queens home.    An x-ray of Jade Flemming's tumor.
Dawn Flemming holds baby Jade in their Queens home.    An x-ray of Jade Flemming's tumor.

1 posted on 05/04/2011 5:55:16 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: All

Your Donation To FR Is The Fuel
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2 posted on 05/04/2011 5:56:31 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Coleus

Well Dawn, you better thank your lucky stars that you didn’t have Obamacare. Your beautiful child would have been too expensive to save.


3 posted on 05/04/2011 5:59:12 PM PDT by technically right
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To: technically right

Be thankful also that Margaret Sanger had no say in the matter.


4 posted on 05/04/2011 6:02:55 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: musicman

Sounds like the first set of doctors were way too pessimistic. The description of what was done to save Jade’s life almost makes it look like a piece of cake. Four minutes to put in a breathing tube is pretty darn quick. But nobody had looked firsthand at Jade’s body, either. Could have been much worse.


5 posted on 05/04/2011 6:10:59 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: Coleus

Congratulations Dawn! Jade is a beautiful fighter —just like you.


6 posted on 05/04/2011 6:47:58 PM PDT by HotKat
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To: Coleus

I’m so happy for the beautiful daughter but it appears from the article that the mother would have aborted if legal.


7 posted on 05/04/2011 8:36:23 PM PDT by peggybac (In the contemporary world, they pulled a Pearl Harbor. We need to pull a Hiroshima.)
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