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During a 20-week pregnancy scan, Carla and her partner Mick received the overwhelming news that their baby boy Ethan’s spinal cord was failing to develop properly in the womb.

A distressing diagnosis of spina bifida followed, but Carla and Mick vowed to never give up on their precious baby boy.

The couple travelled to Brisbane from their hometown of Yeppoon for multiple medical appointments at Mater Mothers’ Hospital. They remained positive after Mater doctors said they could operate to help improve Ethan’s mobility and the chances he will be able to walk independently in the future.

Ethan was just 24 weeks’ gestation when doctors made incisions into Carla’s abdomen and uterus, enabling them to reach her unborn baby’s lower back to repair the spina bifida.

Baby Ethan was born on June 22, just three weeks after the surgery was performed, weighing just 1.29kg.

Dr Glenn Gardener

Carla said while it was too early for doctors to give Ethan the all-clear, he had already shown he has full movement in his body “right down to his toes.”

Carla said Ethan also suffered from hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid in and around his brain often associated with spina bifida. After 11 weeks of around-the-clock care at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, Carla and baby Ethan have now joined their family back home in Yeppoon.

Baby Ethan

Hear more about Carla and Ethan's story...

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