Medical milestone saves mother, newborn son in time for the holidays

Josh Einiger Image
Saturday, December 24, 2022
'We're very lucky': Medical milestone saves mom, newborn son
NYU Langone surgeons helped Claire Sprouse safely deliver her newborn son Milo Russell thanks to a new non-invasive procedure. Josh Einiger has the story.

CLINTON HILL, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Home for the holidays means a little extra for a family from Brooklyn thanks to a medical milestone that helped save a baby and his mom.

He may be just 2 months old, but Milo Russell has already beaten the odds.

"Might have his television debut involve using the bathroom and he'll never forgive me for it I'm sure," Russell's mother Claire Sprouse said.

The newborn's parents Claire and Nico gave birth in October at NYU Langone.

"It was the best feeling, delivering that baby," said Dr. Ashley Roman, NYU Langone Chief of Obstetrics.

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Under the care of Roman, the delivery was uneventful, but the pregnancy was anything but.

"The biggest risk was that this mother was not even gonna survive the pregnancy," said Dr. Mathew Williams of NYU Langone.

At 17 weeks, Claire Sprouse's aortic valve failed. In most cases, the issue requires open heart surgery to replace, which would mean terminating the pregnancy.

But Williams is among a handful of cardiothoracic surgeons in the country to pioneer a new non-invasive way to replace a heart valve, using a catheter threaded through an artery.

The procedure took just an hour. She was home the next day.

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"And so, we as a team met to come up with a solution to treat her valve disease so she was not at risk and allow her to continue her pregnancy," Williams said.

"The recovery is magical. I mean really, I saw her immediately after the procedure and she instantly felt better," Roman said. "It was unbelievable from my experience as an obstetrician."

Russell went on to have what every baby should have, a perfectly routine delivery. Two months later, his family has so much to be thankful for.

"The holidays are just so much more fun with kids involved and we're very very lucky to be here," Sprouse said.


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