Amazing News for Baby Whose Heartbreaking Photo Shoot Touched the World
In September, Erika and Stephen Jones shared a beautiful and heartbreaking portrait series of their daughter Abigail, who has Down syndrome and had been diagnosed in utero with a fatal brain tumor. Abigail was not expected to live, so rather than keeping her in the hospital, the family brought her home and waited for her to peacefully pass away. Though Abigail’s tumor was never classified as “inoperable,” doctors originally told the family surgery or chemo could potentially kill Abigail.
“If [Abigail] dies, I don’t want it to be in plastic box in a hospital NICU,” Erika Jones told ABC News at the time. “It will be home with us, surrounded by love and in our arms.”
Their story and photo series soon went viral.
However, as Abigail grew, her parents noticed that she was surprisingly responsive. At the 6-week mark, another MRI showed reduced pressure on Abigail’s brain, Jones revealed on the family’s “Team Jones” blog. They sent the scans to the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and asked for a second opinion.
Dr. Alan Cohen, neurosurgeon-in-chief at Boston Children’s, gave the family some incredible news.
“I reviewed the MRI and thought the tumor actually might not be malignant,” Cohen told Thriving, the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Health blog. “I spoke to Mom on the phone and told her that I thought there was enough question about the diagnosis that we should not give Abigail a death sentence.”
The Jones family traveled to Boston, and after another MRI, Abigail underwent surgery to remove the tumor. Further tests revealed the mass was benign, and Cohen said he does not believe the tumor will return. “Her prognosis is excellent,” Cohen told Thriving. “This is a story with a very sad beginning and a very happy ending.”
On Oct. 12, the Jones family wrote on their Facebook page that they were leaving the hospital, and after a follow-up MRI on Oct. 15, they will be headed back to Florida.
“Such an incredible, surreal feeling walking out of the hospital with Abigail,” the ecstatic parents wrote. “Bottling that up and carrying it with me forever.” They also thanked the Boston Children’s Hospital and added, “It has changed our lives forever. We are eternally grateful.”
To view the Jones family’s viral photo series, head here.