Hermitage mother undergoes fetal surgery to repair daughter's sp - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Hermitage mother undergoes fetal surgery to repair daughter's spina bifida

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HERMITAGE, Pa. -

The Blaire family of Hermitage said they are lucky to have their nine-month-old daughter, Caroline.

It was a journey bringing her into the world.

"While I was pregnant, she was diagnosed with spina bifida myelomeningocele," said Michelle Blaire.

Spina bifida myelomeningocele is the most severe form of the birth defect that happens when the spinal cord doesn't properly form.  It can be life-threatening and cause paralyzation.

Michelle and her husband Ben took action and prayed.

"Abortion was never an option for us," said Michelle.

They decided to go with an operation done while the baby is still in the womb.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center accepted Michelle as a patient.

At 25 weeks pregnant, Michelle had her uterus removed, operated on and put back inside of her for six more weeks.

"After the surgery, I had to remain in Cincinnati for six weeks while my husband and two kids were still in Hermitage," said Michelle.

"I just wanted to be here for my family and for Michelle with all that she was going through," said Ben.

Just seven days before Michelle gave birth, their Hermitage home caught fire.

"We lost everything and all of our things for the baby," said Michelle.

Everyone made it out of the home.

Born at just two pounds, nine ounces, Caroline entered the world in May.

She is now progressing right on track.

"She has not needed a shunt because her brain has stabilized she is developmentally right on track. She can move around, her bladder functions," said Michelle.

"She is just like any other little girl, but she is our miracle," said Ben.

Now, the family of four continues to pray for health and happiness.

"After what we went through and how much we prayed, we decided to make her middle name Faith," said Michelle.

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