'Miracle' baby survives rare condition and celebrates 1st birthday

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A baby who spent 182 days in the NICU celebrated his first birthday after doctors saved his life.

Miles Rizzo was born July 30, 2020 at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Complications were discovered at the moment he was born.

"When he was born he couldn't breathe, when he was born, you get that first moment with your baby, the skin to skin, I didn't get that," mother Amy Rizzo said.
He was admitted to the NICU almost immediately after he was born, and a few days later, he was transferred to the NewYork-Presbyterian Alexandra Cohen Hospital for Women and Newborns.

Initial tests showed he had pulmonary hypertension, but an ultrasound later revealed he had a rare condition called a vein of Galen malformation. A monster vein disrupted the flow of blood from his brain to his heart.



"It's taking up most the space inside the head and there's innumerable, probably hundreds of little arteries that are going to feed this gigantic vein that's draining it, that high-pressure blood is starting to cause heart failure, problems with his lungs," Dr. Jared Knopman a neurosurgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center

The condition required him to have treatment across multiple specialties, including cardiology, neonatology and neurology/neurosurgery.

Over the course of several months, he underwent more than a dozen procedures.

Miles went home in January and recently celebrated his first birthday -- the first of many more birthdays to come.
Since his release, he's been doing things that most kids his age typically do.

Knopman said Miles' prognosis at this point is quite good and it's amazing how resilient kids are.

"For most parents waiting for their kids to walk and crawl may be overlooked, but for us it's just been extra special," dad AC Rizzo said.

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"No matter what, just look to the children because they'll lead the way," Payson's mother said.



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