Baby with fatal ‘tumor’ now thriving thanks to second opinion

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BOSTON -- A Florida infant has a second chance at life after doctors successfully removed a brain tumor they thought was fatal.

Before Abigail Jones was born, her parents Erika and Stephen, were given a devastating diagnosis after a tumor was discovered on her brain.

Abigail's tumor.

Abigail's tumor.

"We had been told since I was 30 weeks pregnant that this was fatal. This is going to kill her," Erika Jones, Abigail's mother explained.

"They set us up with pediatric hospice,” Abigail's father, Stephen Jones, said. “We made funeral arrangements for Abigail."


Abigail, her sister and her parents.

When Abigail was born in August with both down syndrome and the tumor, her parents and big sister cherished every second. In fact, the photos they took with the newborn went viral along with their story. But as days passed, and Abigail stayed strong, the couple started to question the diagnosis.

"She was thriving. She was certainly not in any way shape or form dying," Erika said.



That's when Erika reached out to doctors at Boston Children's Hospital.

"We thought there wasn't enough evidence to give her a death sentence and said, ‘Why don't you come on up and take a look at this thing and maybe we can take it out?’" Boston Hospital Neurosurgeon-in-Chief Dr. Alan Cohen said.

The couple said that was the first time they had hope during the ordeal.

As a result, Abigail and her parents flew to Boston so Dr. Cohen and his team could perform the surgery.

“When Dr. Cohen came out of surgery saying, ‘We got it all, and we're pretty, pretty, pretty sure that it’s not malignant. It's not cancer.’” Erika said. “It was almost like she was born again. She had a life now."


Abigail's parents had not allowed themselves to think about her future about until now.

“I just look at you and I think about your life, and what you're going to be like when you're one, and what you're going to be like when you're two. And that we need to go home and make you a nursery, get you a crib and all that kind of stuff," Erika said.