Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
'I fell in love with my miracle Mia'
9:45am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in News
AMAZING photographs show how a baby born with a growth on her face the size of a melon has made an incredible recovery after having life-saving surgery.
‘Miracle baby’ Mia Molyneux was born with a huge cyst that was bigger than her own head - and weighed almost half as much as she did.
Surgeons battled to remove the growth in a gruelling nine-hour operation - which saw Mia have 96 pints of blood pumped into her tiny body to keep her alive. Now, aged 21 weeks, she is continuing her recovery at home with mum Michaela, 20.
Michaela, a former Newton High pupil, who grew up in the Common Estate, Earlestown, said: "I was absolutely terrified when I found out Mia had something wrong with her.
“The doctors were urging me to terminate the pregnancy, as they feared Mia would be severely disabled, but I absolutely refused.
"When she was born I fell in love with her instantly. When I looked at her I saw my baby girl alive, not the growth.
"The operation to remove it was risky - I was terrified the cyst would rupture and she would bleed to death - but the surgeons were amazing. She needed 96 pints of blood - the average baby only has one pint in their body."
Doctors realised there was something wrong with the pregnancy after Michaela, desperate to know the sex of her baby, booked herself in for an extra ultrasound scan.
Michaela added: "The sonographer was staring at the screen and instantly I knew something was wrong."
At 36 weeks pregnant, still unsure of the exact prognosis, Michaela had an MRI scan which confirmed Mia had combined venous-lymphatic malformation.
The rare condition results from an abnormal development of the lymphatic vessels that drain fluid from tissues. This can cause a localised swelling, often with cysts.
A caesarean was planned for March 27, at Liverpool Women's Hospital, as a natural birth would be too dangerous.
Doctors had to carry out a risky procedure to insert a ventilator into Mia's throat before the umbilical cord was cut, to help her breathe. Eighteen doctors and nurses were in the room, underlining how worried specialists were. And when the baby’s lung collapsed just minutes after she was born, she was rushed to intensive care.
When Mia was six days old, surgeons decided to operate on the cyst.
Michaela said: "The surgeon explained that there was a risk that it might rupture and that she would bleed and they wouldn't be able to control it.
"They said if that happened then there will be nothing they can do for her. I was worried but I knew she was in the safest possible hands. Mia had several bleeds but luckily with a bit of pressure they managed to stop them."Michaela added: "(Afterwards) She looked so battered and bruised, it was heartbreaking. It was so hard not being able to hold her until she was 15 days old.
“She will be scarred for life but it's a small price to pay. When her bandages came off I used to still wrap her up in them when we went outside because I was worried what people would think. Now I don't, she's been through so much and I'm so proud of her."