While the entire human body is complicated, the brain is exceptionally complex. The neural pathways and white-grey matter in brain shapes its working in amazing ways. However, for a baby boy from New Jersey, he never developed a brain while in his mother’s womb. The boy survives now with the help of only a brain stem.
When Lucas Santa Maria’s mom went for her 10 weeks ultrasound, she got very bad news. Due to complications, her baby had developed exencephaly. This meant that the baby’s brain was growing outside his body in the womb. Hence the brain was covered only with two thin cells. Because the brain was so exposed, its contact with the amniotic fluid caused irreparable damage. However, Lucas’s mom decided to bring the baby to term. Thus Lucas was born in January amidst a team of anxious doctors.
Lucas’s pediatrician Dr. Vogel has promised his family to save the baby. Hence the procedure that took place at Hackensack University Medical Center was incredibly complex. The prescribed operation required to cut-off the non-functioning brain tissue from the skull. Moreover, the doctors had to preserve his blood vessels to ensure continuous blood flow to the brain. Further, they had to preserve the spinal fluid to prevent infection. Consequently, Lucas started to breathe and eat on his own by use of his brain stem. The doctors had made a miracle happen.
Other causes of fetal brain damage
Lucas is perhaps the only survivor of exencephaly. Other survivors have suffered through a condition called hydranencephaly. Due to this condition, the fetus’s brain accumulates huge amount of fluid. This fluid further disrupts the growth of the brain cells. Hence doctors have punctured the cranium to release fluid and decrease the pressure on the brain. In such cases, it has been noted that brain cells formed even after birth. In conclusion, truly brain is a mind-boggling organ of the body.