A routine ultrasound first detected a mass in Sarah Hartford’s stomach prior to her birth. Her mother Lenore was monitored very carefully to assess Sarah’s development prior to delivery. Sarah was born at Maine Medical Center by emergency C-section due to high birth weight and concerning growth. Taken directly to the NICU at MMC, Pediatric Surgeon Jeffrey Halter, MD performed exploratory surgery at just two days old to better understand Sarah’s tumor, a teratoma. The teratoma was affecting most of her major organs and arteries, including her spleen, liver and pancreas. There were many times that Sarah almost died due to the presence of a large arterial clot. Her gall bladder, bile ducts and much of her intestine needed to be removed as well.
Through an integrated treatment plan created by Maine Medical Center, the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, Sarah and her family worked with several care teams to restore her health, step by step. Many surgeries and therapies were required to keep her alive and set her on a path of recovery. As each challenge arose, the best resource and team was selected as all partners worked toward the same goal-- making Sarah well.
Today, Sarah is an active four year old who takes dance classes and loves to play with her brothers and sisters. And her family and her care teams are still working to achieve “She’s such a trooper, says Lenore, and “for the most part is a happy and lively little girl.” The family works closely with her pediatrician Lynne Tetreault, MD of Maine Medical Partners to continually monitor her progress. “From the very beginning we received the best care at every step, said Lenore. “Everyone we have worked with has been extremely hands-on and dedicated to the health of my child.”