With careful surgery on a baby just eight hours old, a team of specialists turned a heartbreaking prognosis for a little boy with a potentially devastating genetic condition into a story of hope.
This week Levi Janse van Vuuren, weighing in at a healthy 6.4kg, ticked all the milestones set for a baby of four months – but late last year his parents, Llewellyn and Quinnica, were faced with a horrific choice.
“When I was 20 weeks’ pregnant we had a scan with a doctor in East London. She said our baby’s head was a lemon shape and that this might be indicative of spina bifida,” Quinnica said.
Spina bifida is a birth defect caused when the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord do not close properly. It is sometimes caused by a shortage of folic acid in the mother’s body, but can also have a genetic cause.
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