Saylor Thomson was born 12 weeks early with a tumor more than twice her body weight attached to her tailbone.
In an emotional conversation with Sarah Abo from Today, Saylor’s mother, Rachel, shares the harrowing tale of her daughter’s birth and the immense gratitude she feels for the exceptional team of medical professionals at Mater Mother’s Hospital who fought to give her a chance at life.
Rachel recalls the devastating moment during her 20-week scan when she was informed her baby had a sacrococcygeal teratoma – a tumor on the tailbone, with a heart-wrenching 25 to 40 per cent chance of in utero mortality. “It was just heartbreaking,” she emotionally confessed.
An Unexpected Turn of Events
Rachel’s world spun out of control when, at only 28 weeks gestation, she was told she was already in labour. Fears heightened as medical professionals prepared her for the worst. “They told us to prepare ourselves that Saylor might not make it through the night or she might not make it through the birth due to the complications associated with her prematurity and the sacrococcygeal teratoma,” Rachel revealed.
Despite being placed under general anesthesia for the birth, Rachel woke up asking a question that resonated with a mother’s love and concern, “Is she alive?”
In a massive effort to save her, a team of 25 medical specialists helped deliver Saylor, who weighed just one kilogram, whereas the tumor weighed an overwhelming 2.16kg, more than twice the baby’s birth weight. Undeterred, another group of over two dozen doctors removed the tumor in an operation that took just under seven hours.
Professor Saliesh Kumar, one of the surgeons involved in Saylor’s complex surgery, admitted to the grave concerns they had, “We knew that Saylor was struggling and we were very concerned.” However, the surgery was a success, and despite Saylor’s need to spend an additional 77 days in hospital due to her premature birth, her parents held on to hope. Rachel expressed her resolute faith, “We were hoping for a miracle and they would be able to do everything possible.”
A Remarkable Progress
Eight months after her birth, Saylor’s progress astonishes her team of dedicated doctors. “She defied all those odds, she was just fantastic,” shared a visibly amazed Professor Kumar. “I’m just amazed at how big she is and how chilled she is, how wonderful she looks – she’s just great.”
The family continues to express their immense gratitude for the team that saved Saylor’s life. “They are the reason why Saylor is here today, and we owe them absolutely everything,” Rachel articulated with gratitude.
In the face of adversities and odds, baby Saylor’s story is an inspiring testimony of survival, faith, and miracles that often transpire in the most challenging of circumstances.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Watch the miraculous story below.