MIAMI (CBSMiami) — An expectant mother was able to successfully deliver her child, despite having two brain tumors removed after she experienced a loss of vision.
In December, Maria Emilse Muñoz Peña, 32, was six months pregnant when her eyesight first started going bad. She thought it could be a side effect of her pregnancy and initially didn’t pay much attention to it.
Gradually, her vision worsened. She couldn’t read or recognize faces and could barely make out shapes or colors.
To her surprise, doctors discovered nothing wrong with her eyesight. Instead, she was instructed to immediately go to the emergency room at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute for a brain scan.
“He told me it was life or death,” Muñoz Peña recalled.
An MRI revealed a large, benign meningioma, a tumor that forms on the membranes that cover the brain. The tumor was the size of an egg and was pushing against both optic nerves, causing near blindness.
In a complex, 12-hour surgery, UHealth surgeons at Jackson Memorial Hospital removed the tumor, as well a second benign brain tumor discovered during the procedure, which was also removed.
A team of OB/GYNs and anesthesiologists were also in the operating room, closely monitoring the fetus and prepared for an emergency C-section, if need be.
Following the surgery, Muñoz Peña almost immediately regained her vision. On March 20th, she delivered a 7-lb, 2-ounce baby boy named Santino Michar Peña.
“This is a miracle times two,” she said. “First me surviving brain surgery, and then my baby being born healthy.”