PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A newborn baby is home with his family now but the journey wasn’t easy. His mother underwent dramatic heart surgery before he was born.
“He’s strong and healthy and I am just incredibly grateful and it’s just been surreal,” Laura Yohe said.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Gun Violence Epidemic Continues To Have Devastating Impact On City's Youth
Yohe is talking about her newborn son Rhys, who is headed home for the first time. Mom and baby survived a medical odyssey.
“He has gone through something so special and unusual,” Yohe said.
It started with Laura, who’s 41, having a heart attack in December when she was almost five months pregnant.
“It was pretty terrifying,” dad Erick Yohe said.
Laura and her husband Erick were shocked to learn she had coronary artery disease and needed heart bypass surgery.
“The presence of a baby and 22 gestational weeks fetus was definitely increasing the complexity and increasing the stress,” Dr. Gianluca Torregrossa said.
The Main Line Health team at Lankenau Hospital decided to try something they say was never done before: robotic coronary bypass surgery on a pregnant woman.READ MORE: Here Is Where The Pennsylvania Primary Race For The Senate Seat Stands
“Well, the night before I can tell you that as every human being, I didn’t sleep much. There is a lot of tension,” Dr. Torregrossa said.
With robotic bypass, the heart isn’t stopped and incisions are smaller, it was a safer option for Laura and the baby.
“We were able to do it without opening the chest, being the least invasive possible,” Dr. Torregrossa said.
With her repaired heart, Laura was reunited with her other son right before Christmas. And on Monday, Rhys was born.
“I am so happy. It was a long road,” Laure Yohe said.
Heading now to the beginning of their new life as the family of four they always dreamed of having.
“It fills me with joy. Just so happy to see him and, you know, I look forward to bringing him home and I’m very excited,” Erick Yohe said.MORE NEWS: Recent Coastal Storm Uncovers Historic 'Ghost Tracks' On Higbee Beach In Cape May, And It's Not 1st Time
The baby weighs 8 pounds. Doctors say he’s healthy. Mom says he’s super chill and hardly cries.