New mum left in shock when her baby was born inside out due to rare condition
The baby was named Koa which means fighter or warrior in Hawaiian
A new mum was shocked when her baby was born inside out - the result of a rare condition that impacts one in every ten thousand babies.
Gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal, or belly wall that results in babies being born with their organs outside the body.
Ashlie Fowler was told 12 weeks into her pregnancy that her son - her first child - would be affected by the condition.
But, even though she was prepared, the 29-year-old vehicle technician said she was still stunned when her baby was born.
Incredible pictures show the extent of Koa's condition - which left him needing to stay in hospital for three weeks after birth.
Koa - which means fighter or warrior in Hawaiian - is now five-weeks-old and is happily living at home near Bury, Greater Manchester with Ashlie and dad Carl, also 29.
Ashlie said: "Me and my partner surf so it's just a name we'd heard of before, and we named him before we found out what was wrong with him. So when we found out it seemed very fitting."
During growth in the womb, babies with gastroschisis fail to properly fuse their anterior body wall together. And, with the area not properly closed up, organs can leak out, to the right of the belly button, as they develop. In extreme cases, the stomach and liver can escape the body.
Ashlie said: "At my 12-week scan I found out, so I found out quite early on. I was mortified, obviously, I didn't know what it was, the scanner just said that the bowel was on the outside and my heart just dropped.
"I had no idea what that meant... I didn't know whether it was worse than how it sounded."
Koa was operated on within hours of being born by c-section at a specialist hospital.
"After he was born they put all his organs into a bag because they don't want it to dry up or lose heat, or get infected," Ashlie explained. "I don't think he was in any pain, because when I saw him for the first time he was all wrapped up and happy in the incubator."
Koa was essentially fed through a catheter towards his heart for a week after birth, to avoid using his organs too much and was released from hospital after three or four weeks, "which they said was incredible as he was expected to be in for around six".
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