MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida mother gave birth to a healthy baby boy after overcoming a life-threatening medical obstacle during pregnancy.
That mother, Maria Emilse Muñoz Peña, was three months away from giving birth when she began to lose her vision. After doctors checked her out, they diagnosed her with two brain tumors.
“I tried to do my best for him,” Peña said.
“Everything turned out as great as it could be,” said UHealth OB/GYN Dr. Unzila Nayeri.
When Peña began to lose her vision, she thought it might have been a side effect of being pregnant. She didn’t think much of it until she could no longer read, make out shapes and colors and couldn’t recognize faces.
“It wasn’t just over a long period of time. As each hour went by, her vision was getting worse,” said UHealth neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Ivan.
After an ophthalmologist discovered that Peña’s eyesight was perfect, she was sent for a brain scan.
“We found that there was this tumor that was pushing down and surrounding and kind of strangulating the nerves that go to her eyes,” Ivan said, “and so when we saw that, we realized this was not something we could wait until she delivered. It was something that we were gonna have to act on quickly if we wanted to save her vision.”
She was told, at 27 weeks pregnant, that this was a matter of life and death. The 32-year-old then went in for a 12-hour surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in December.
While operating, Ivan discovered the second tumor.
Doctors said her vision improved very quickly after they removed both tumors. “The next morning, her vision was so much improved, almost back to where it was before this even happened,” Ivan said.
They also said Peña could finish the remainder of her pregnancy, and then in the next three months, she gave birth to a healthy seven-pound, two-ounce baby boy, named Santino.
“With Maria’s optimism and determination, here we are today,” Nayeri said.
“I’m very grateful for the neurosurgeon team, the OB team, the hospital, every person who took care of us,” Peña said, “and especially to life because I recover my view. I can see perfectly fine, and I have my baby here. He’s healthy, and he’s perfect.”
Peña says she now has a whole new appreciation of her vision, and she now sees with her heart. She also said she is thankful both she and her baby are alive.
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