Miracle Baby Who Underwent Spinal Surgery Inside The Womb Lives Wonderful Life Now

New York Post

An extraordinary testament to the advances in modern medicine unfolded when a young girl, initially diagnosed with spina bifida and believed to face a lifetime without walking, defied the odds through groundbreaking prenatal surgery. Georgia Axford and Tyler Kelly, then 19 and 21 respectively, received the disheartening news during a routine ultrasound at 20 weeks that their unborn baby had spina bifida, a condition known for causing weakness or paralysis in the lower limbs, raising concerns about the child’s ability to walk.

Undeterred by the grim prognosis, the determined parents embarked on a journey to Germany to seek a revolutionary solution. In an incredible turn of events, the unborn baby underwent emergency spinal surgery while still in the womb, an intervention that came at a relatively affordable cost of £9,000 or approximately $11,500. The procedure, performed by the skilled hands of surgeon Dr. Thomas Kohl, aimed to address the spina bifida and potentially pave the way for a healthier future for their unborn child.

The story takes a miraculous turn as Piper-Kohl Kelly entered the world in July 2018, named in gratitude after the surgeon instrumental in her life-altering surgery. Far from the initial prognosis, Piper-Kohl not only survived but thrived. At the age of five, she exhibits the same playful energy as her peers, running and walking with the uninhibited joy characteristic of young children. Her recent participation in her school’s sports day stands as a testament to the transformative power of medical innovation and the resilience of the human spirit. The once dire prediction of a life without mobility has been replaced by the triumphant strides of a young girl, defying expectations and embracing the gift of movement that was made possible through the marvels of modern medicine.

“Seeing her run on the tracks was amazing. I never thought she’d be able to do something like that,” Georgia said. “Sometimes it doesn’t feel real. I think back to what we were told, and they were really negative about Piper’s diagnosis.”

Spina bifida has the potential to render individuals reliant on assistive devices such as supports or crutches, and in more serious instances, they may find themselves confined to a wheelchair. In Piper-Kohl’s case, medical professionals held a high degree of certainty that she would face such challenges.

Originating from South Yorkshire, situated in the Northeast of England, Georgia encountered the distressing news of Piper’s diagnosis. Despite the anxieties and negativity surrounding the situation, and even with Piper being delivered prematurely at 32 weeks and spending 52 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, they were afforded the opportunity to embark on a life that paralleled that of other infants right from the outset.

“When she was around two, her physio gave her a walking frame—she doesn’t use it anymore, but we have it in case she needs the support,” Georgia also added. “She used it for about a year while she was starting to walk, but now she walks completely independently.”


“She does get really tired and can’t go for really long distances, but she does so well, especially considering what we were told,” she said.

Another heartening aspect of this narrative is the close connection between Piper and her surgeon, Dr. Thomas Kohl. Notably, Dr. Kohl is not just a medical professional but also a family friend, sharing the same birthday as Piper. This unique bond goes beyond the clinical setting, fostering a personal investment in Piper’s well-being.

Despite the challenges encountered along their journey, Georgia and Tyler, Piper’s parents, find solace and pride in their daughter’s remarkable progress. The difficulties faced have not dimmed their optimism, as they eagerly anticipate witnessing the continued growth of their daughter, whom they describe as a “kind and caring girl.” Their hope is rooted in the belief that Piper, driven by determination, will accomplish anything she sets her mind to in the future.

“It’s a miracle that she’s been through it and is who she is today. She’s been through a lot in her life,” Georgia shared. “She loves coloring and anything to do with arts and crafts. She loves school, and she has a really good group of friends. She beats the odds all the time and whatever she does, I’ll be so proud of her.”