Sometimes a doctor will discover a birth defect so bad that they have to recommend the worst to a mother. They may recommend abortion because the child is not likely to survive long outside of the womb and will only suffer. Yet some mothers decide to try to beat the odds and get lucky.
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ABC 7 in New York talked about one such case. A baby boy named Lucas is the only known baby in the world to have survived a rare birth defect that is usually fatal.
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The disease is called exencephaly. This happens when the skull does not form right and leaves an open hole in the head. This exposes the brain to the environment of the womb directly and causes damage. According to the doctor that delivered Lucas, most babies born with the condition die within a few hours of birth. The rate of incidence is about 3 in every 10,000 pregnancies.
The condition was discovered after 10 weeks of gestation. Doctors had recommended an abortion, but she decided to carry the baby to term. She told her three daughters the situation and warned them that their brother was going to die.
However, Lucas was born quite healthy. The doctor closed the skin around the hole exposing the brain. So far, he has lived seven months. He faces several surgeries to transplant bone shavings over the hole to fix the problem.
It is unknown how long he will live or how he was affected by the condition since he is the first baby to survive this long. But the family and the doctor are optimistic.