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First high-risk delivery at Akron Children’s in 123 years won’t be the last

Ibrahim Farid, MD, and RNs Debbie Burgoyne, Carrie Gardiner accompany Angela to the delivery room

Ibrahim Farid, MD, and RNs Debbie Burgoyne, Carrie Gardiner accompany Angela to the delivery room

The May 10 birth of Ashton Daniell via cesarean section marks another milestone in Akron Children’s 123-year history – as well as a glimpse into the future.

Ashton was diagnosed at 37-weeks gestation with a baseball-sized cyst on his neck caused by a lymphatic malformation.

Due to the size of the mass and the closeness to his airway, there was concern that Ashton may need emergency surgery immediately after birth.

Maternal-fetal medicine specialist Melissa Mancuso and her team at Akron Children’s fetal treatment center made arrangements to have the necessary team in place to deliver Ashton at Children’s.

“The logistics of this were incredible and we are very grateful,” said Andrew Daniell, Ashton’s father. “There had to be a neonatologist, pediatric ENT surgeon, pediatric surgeon and a pediatric anesthesiologist on call at all times. This is on top of the team needed to perform Angie’s C-section.”

Fortunately, Ashton’s mass didn’t require emergency surgery immediately upon birth.

Andrew, Ashton and Angela pose for their first family photo prior to Angela’s ride to Akron General

Andrew, Ashton and Angela pose for their first family photo prior to Angela’s ride to Akron General

Instead, surgeons John Crow and Marc Nelson decided it was best to give Ashton some time to grow and put on weight before the procedure to remove the cyst.

After a 5-day neonatal intensive care unit stay, Ashton was able to grow and bond with his family at home in Bath Township.

On July 12, Ashton, now a strapping 14 lbs., returned to Akron Children’s for the surgery. After a weekend stay in the hospital, Ashton returned home to big brother Anderson on July 15.

“Ashton should be able to lead a normal life once the cyst is removed,” said Dr. John Crow, chairman of the department of surgery. “His prognosis is excellent.”

While Ashton was the first planned high-risk delivery at Akron Children’s, he won’t be the last.

Many children need emergency assistance directly upon birth, and that’s why the hospital plans to include a high-risk delivery area in a new building on the Akron campus, set to be complete in the summer of 2015.

The addition will also include a new ER, NICU and outpatient surgical suites.

Estimates indicate there are about 100 deliveries each year where it’s especially high risk to transport a newborn to Akron Children’s.

Examples include babies identified with congenital heart defects, neural tube defects, diaphragmatic hernias, abnormalities that may affect the airway, and other conditions that require the baby to have immediate access to pediatric specialists upon birth.

Another benefit to on-site birthing is that the labor, delivery and recovery rooms would keep mothers close to their newborns.

At this time the hospital plan doesn’t include routine deliveries or deliveries involving high-risk mothers. Those will continue to occur at our partner hospitals in Akron and throughout our service area.

Learn more about Ashton’s special delivery in this story on Ohio.com.

You can also watch the Fox 8 segment below to learn about his surgery.

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