Baby born at 26 weeks with liver tumour is now cancer-free and home for good

A mum has shared how she saved her unborn baby by seeking medical attention when she didn’t feel him move for two days.

But then faced an agonising decision on whether to give birth three months prematurely.

When Jordyn Smith, 30, couldn’t feel her unborn baby boy move she went to the hospital to get checked out.

While there, doctors discovered the baby was in distress as his heartbeat was faint. They then asked Jordyn and husband Eric, 32, to make a decision about the baby’s future.

Doctors told the parents they could perform an emergency caesarean section – but, at just 26 weeks, he would only have 8% chance of survival.

The other option was to leave him grow but his chances of survival were even slimmer.

Jordyn, a communications marketing specialist, from Inland Empire, California, said: ‘We were given an impossible decision. We were told that if we left him in he would be stillborn but got told if we take him out he might not make it.

‘I was in survival mode, I didn’t know babies that old could survive. I didn’t know how dire the situation was until later on when he was given a 8% chance.’

Jordyn and Eric opted to give birth immediately and baby Jay, now 13 months, was born less than 24 hours later – weighing just 14.8 ounces (less than 1lb).

However, he defied the odds and spent 173 days in hospital before going home.

But after six days at home, Jay stopped breathing and was blue-lighted to hospital where the doctors discovered he had liver cancer.

This was related to his premature arrival and he spent a further three weeks in hospital and endured chemotherapy and an operation.

Thankfully, he is now finally cancer-free and home for good.

Jordyn fell pregnant with Jay in November 2021, one month after she married Eric, a mechanic.

At the 20-week scan, Jay was measuring small but Jordyn was told it wasn’t anything to worry about because her daughter Tessa, now three, was also small as a baby.

Jordyn said the weekend she couldn’t feel Jay move was a scary one.

‘It was over a weekend, I didn’t feel him move very much – he just wasn’t moving,’ she recalled.

‘I took him to Paloma Valley Hospital, California, and was told that if we didn’t take him out he would be stillborn but if we did take him out he might not make it.’

On March 29, 2022, at 4am, Jay was born. However, he was not breathing and, after he was revived, was immediately put on an incubator.

‘It was a wait-and-see moment to see if he would live or not,’ she said.

Jay was on a ventilator for 28 days, during which he had a bleed on the brain and couldn’t be held.

After 173 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) Jordyn was able to take Jay home to the family.

But tragedy struck once more when Jay stopped breathing six days later.

‘He was in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for three weeks,’ Jordyn said.

‘He was being monitored by doctors when they found a mass in his liver.

‘I was thinking “why him” – he had been through so much already and he has had to fight so many battles his entire life.

‘He has just got out of the hospital and is now fighting another battle – it doesn’t seem fair.’

Jay had four rounds of chemotherapy starting in October 2022 to shrink the liver tumour before surgery in December 2022.

Doctors removed 50% of his liver, his gall bladder and were able to remove the tumour during a four-hour operation.

Jay was in recovery for four days and discharged on Christmas Eve.

Jordyn added: ‘It was a magical day. All I ever wanted was to have my kids together.

‘So much has happened it was a huge blessing for us. He had one final round of chemotherapy in January 2023 and now he is recovering.

‘Unfortunately because of the chemo he now has permanent hearing damage.

‘He is monitored very closely, we are praying that a relapse doesn’t happen.’

Jordyn described Jay as a ‘social butterfly’ who is ‘curious about everything.’

‘He is the happiest silliest baby, it is amazing after everything he has been through,’ she noted.

‘He is happy and giggles, a social butterfly and is very curious and alert about things.

‘We had a superhero birthday theme for his first birthday, it was so blissful to celebrate that day when we didn’t know we would get it.

‘His nurse team was there to celebrate it was a very emotional day.’

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