16/08/2012 16:44 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Miracle Mia: Baby Born With Cyst The Size Of A Melon On Her Face Survives Life-Saving Surgery

Miracle Mia: Baby born with cyst the size of a melon on her face survives life-saving surgery

Gorgeous Mia Molyneux was born with a huge cyst the size of a melon on the side of her face. It was bigger than her own head, and weighed half as much as she did.

She miraculously survived nine hours of grueling surgery to remove it, during which she was pumped full of 96 pints of blood to keep her tiny body alive. The little girl is now 20 weeks old, and has finally been allowed home with her family in Widnes, Cheshire.

Mia's mum Michaela, 20, says: "I was absolutely terrified when I found out Mia had something wrong with her. The doctors were urging me to terminate the pregnancy, as they feared Mia would be severely disabled, but I absolutely refused.

"When she was born I fell in love with her instantly. When I looked at her I saw my baby girl alive, not the growth.


The operation to remove it was really risky - I was terrified the cyst would rupture and she would bleed to death - but the surgeons were amazing. She needed 96 pints of blood transfused - the average baby only has one pint in their body. I'm just so glad to have my little girl home with me at last.


Doctors only realised there was a problem when a then-pregnant Michaela booked herself in for an extra ultrasound scan as she was desperate to know the sex of her baby. Sonographers spotted a huge swelling on the baby's face - and feared she would be born with severe disabilities. Doctors were so concerned about the baby's health, that Michaela was advised to terminate the pregnancy.

Michaela refused to give up on her unborn baby, and at 36 weeks pregnant, the mum-to-be had an MRI scan which confirmed that Mia had combined venous-lymphatic malformation.

The ultra-rare condition results from an abnormal development of the lymphatic vessels that drain fluid from tissues. When these vessels develop abnormally they can cause a localised swelling and cysts in the same area.

Miracle Mia: Baby born with cyst the size of a melon on her face survives life-saving surgery

Michaela was booked in for a C-section at Liverpool Women's Hospital, and 18 doctors and nurses were in the room when Mia was born. She was rushed to intensive care after her lung collapsed minutes after birth.

"Mia was brought to see me before she was rushed to intensive care at just three hours old," says Michaela. "My legs weren't working because of the spinal block so I couldn't lean over to see her, so the doctor guided my hand in to feel her face."
When Mia was just six days old, surgeons decided to operate on the cyst.


The surgeon explained that there was a risk that it might rupture and that she would bleed and they wouldn't be able to control it," says Michaela. "They said if that happened then there will be nothing they can do for her. I was worried but I knew she was in the safest possible hands. Mia had several bleeds but luckily with a bit of pressure they managed to stop them.


Dr Adam Donne, paediatric ENT surgeon at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, said: "Following surgery, Mia continued to be cared for by our Intensive Care team before she became well enough to recover on our neurosurgical ward.

"Although she required further surgery, she has now returned home and we are pleased with her progress. This is a wonderful example of how the doctors and nurses throughout Alder Hey work well together to save the life of a newborn."

Little Mia will be scarred for life but is now at home with her proud mum, who says: "It's a small price to pay. When her bandages came off after the surgery I used to still wrap her up in them when we went outside because I was worried what people would think. Now I don't, she's been through so much and I'm so proud of her."

More on Parentdish: Meet the teenager who can talk, laugh and sing for the first time after pioneering operations to rebuild her face