Joshua was diagnosed after a routine ultrasound at 29 weeks in utero with a rare tumor known as epignathus teratoma. The tumor derived from the palate and filled the oral cavity and protruded from his mouth, as well as extending upward into his sinuses, behind his left eye and up to the skull plate. We were completely devastated to learn that he was not expected to survive. However, we did not give up seeking other medical opinions and of course we continued to pray. We found Texas Children’s Hospital and a very special team of doctors and nurses that were able to give us hope.
Joshua was born at 33 weeks surrounded by an OR room full of very talented, caring surgeons and physicians. They were able to secure an airway and remove the largest part of the tumor extending from his mouth. He was then carried to the NICU were we began a very long journey of ventilators, MRIs, CT scans, feeding tubes, IVs, chemo, and antibiotics. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way. At 2 months old he underwent resection of the rest of his very extensive tumor. The surgery was 12 hours and involved pediatric surgery, skull base surgery, and a neurosurgery. The result was nothing short of miraculous. Joshua was so strong and pulled through like a champion.
When Joshua was 31/2 mos old we were finally able to go home. We have many obstacles facing us but we remain strong in our Faith. We can’t wait to share the incredible story of his journey with him as he gets older.