Human Interest

Meet Dorothy, the preemie born with multiple organs outside her body

Dorothy Montgomery, born at 32 weeks gestation on February 12, 2024, is a special little girl who was born with many of her internal organs outside her body.

Parents Sadie and Drew of Amesbury, Wiltshire, in the UK shared their experience discovering their daughter’s health condition. “All I remember hearing was the consultant telling me Dorothy’s ‘guts’ were out of her body. I couldn’t believe it was happening,” Sadie shared. “I kept thinking ‘what do you mean – guts?’. Doctors had to wrap her up in cling film to keep her insides moist – I just couldn’t face seeing it.”

Dorothy was just 12 weeks old in utero at the time they learned of her condition. Her mother Sadie said, “My nine-week scan was absolutely fine but at 12 weeks, they found it. It was right at the last bit, the nurse noticed a ‘mass’ on the umbilical cord, or where it should’ve been.” After the nurse and midwife staff discussed the possibilities with Sadie, they suggested further testing to differentiate between gastroschisis and exomphalos, a more severe and lifelong condition that can require more surgeries with age. 

A blood test confirmed that Dorothy had the first condition: gastroschisis. This condition, defined by Cleveland Clinic as a birth defect where some of the internal organs are left outside of the abdomen, is caused by the abdominal wall “not forming completely in the womb.” It usually requires surgery to allow the baby to develop and digest foods properly. 

Dorothy’s grandmother, Kelly, recalled Dorothy’s condition at birth: “It wasn’t just her bowel, or her umbilical cord, like I was expecting. It was everything. All her kidneys, stomach, liver, fallopian tubes, intestines and ovaries were out.” 

READ: ‘A true inspiration’: Parents choose life for baby girl born with organs outside her body

Usually surgery is required to properly place the organs. In Dorothy’s case, the doctors were able to use a tool called a “silo bag,” or a silicone bag, that gathers all the organs and intestines together directly over the hole in the abdomen. The idea is that with gravity’s help, the organs are coaxed back into the abdomen. Minimal surgery would then be used to finish settling the organs into their proper home and then sealing up the hole.

For Dorothy, it took two weeks for the process to complete; the best part is she never needed surgery. By using normal wound dressings and steri strips, the umbilical cord and wound had completely sealed. 

“It was absolutely crazy, her tummy literally just closed. She’s so lucky, she never needed to be put out or operated on; I hear lots of babies with the same condition do,” Sadie shared. For the first two weeks after birth, Dorothy was restricted to one milliliter of milk each day, but is now able to ingest normal amounts of food. 

At first Sadie explained that Dorothy was seen weekly by her doctors to make sure healing continued as expected. Now the appointments are stretching out in between, and her mother says Dorothy is “doing really well.” 

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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