Miami doctors perform surgery to reveal baby's face

The Miami HeraldMay 28, 2009 

Eight days after Jordan Jamal Smith was born in March, his mother still couldn't see his face.

The bulbous, 1.8-pound mound of liquid and tissue protruding from the newborn's mouth covered his eyes and nose, his cheeks and forehead.

It had nearly killed him in the womb and threatened his life during his birth.

But two University of Miami doctors executed a carefully crafted plan, preventing the tumor from killing baby Jordan in the womb or during his birth.

And in the weeks that followed, Kimberly Robinson was able to hold – and eventually see – her son for the first time, an experience she later called her baby's continuous "rebirth."

"The first time I saw him, I was only able to see his chin," she said Wednesday, carrying in her arms a healthy 2-month-old boy without a blemish on his radiant face.

It was late October, during a regularly scheduled doctor's appointment, when Robinson and the ultrasound technician next to her noticed something odd on the screen. The 17-week-old fetus inside Robinson had an abnormal shape on its face.

"I thought he was sucking his thumb," Robinson recalled.

Doctors soon discovered it was a rapidly-growing tumor, which sprouted out of the baby's mouth like a large, inflated balloon. It would soon prevent him from swallowing amniotic fluid, which could cause Robinson's uterus to swell and give birth prematurely.

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