Baby born with brain outside skull defies odds 7 months later

( - During a 20-week ultrasound, doctors told Bentley Yoder’s parents that their son was “incompatible with life,” and that he had a 0 percent chance of survival. Devastated, the Ohio parents considered terminating the pregnancy, but ultimately they decided to carry Bently to term.

“All the way through, I just kept having the feeling that it’s going to be OK, it’s going to be all right,” Dustin Yoder, Bentley’s father, said in a post on Thriving, a Boston Children’s Hospital blog.

In the ultrasound, doctors had detected that brain tissue was bulging out of an opening in Bentley’s skull and diagnosed him with encephalocele. The condition is a rare neural tube defect that occurs when the tube does not close completely during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the condition occurs in one out of 10,000 babies born in the United States each year.

“I specifically remember asking, ‘Is there any chance he could survive?’ They said no— that in the best-case scenario, he’s going to be a vegetable,” Sierra Yoder, Bentley’s mother, said in the blog post. “They made it out like I was going to lose him at any point.”

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