Riley team saves baby born with neck tumor larger than his head

Patient Stories |


Owen 2

“We always said if we made it to the NICU, we’d be happiest parents here,” said Dustin Lower, as he looked over at his baby.

This family faced many uncertain weeks leading up to the birth of their son, Owen. They didn’t know if he would survive labor and delivery.

Owen had a tumor on his neck that was larger than his head and impacted his airway. Riley specialists worked together to come up with a plan to intubate Owen at birth despite the complications associated with a tumor of this size.

Owen was partially delivered via c-section. His upper body was out of the womb while his lower body was still inside his mom and attached to the placenta for survival. Riley ear, nose and throat specialists worked to intubate him while the maternal fetal medicine team closely monitored his heart and oxygen levels. After 19 minutes, they succeeded in establishing an airway and fully delivered Owen.

Just a couple of weeks later, a Riley surgeon was able to fully remove the tumor.

Now, Owen is recovering in the NICU.

“He would not have survived if he was delivered somewhere else,” Katy said.