Celeste Pinto de Arruda

During her 20-week ultrasound, Akosua and her husband, Fernando, were excited to find out the gender of their second child. But they could tell from the ultrasonographer’s reaction that something was not right. The following Monday they received the diagnosis — their baby had spina bifida.

Through research, Akosua learned that Orlando Health was beginning to offer fetal surgery and contacted the Fetal Care Center at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. By the following week, Akosua had an appointment set up and began to go through an extensive evaluation process to see if she and her baby would be candidates for in utero surgery to repair her baby’s spina bifida. Thankfully, they were found to be, and at 25 weeks pregnant, she underwent surgery.

Everything with the surgery went smoothly and at a little over 32 weeks, baby Celeste entered the world at 4 pounds, 10 ounces. Akosua recalls, “when she was born, she cried and did everything a healthy baby was supposed to do.”

After spending a few weeks in the NICU to make sure that everything was OK, Celeste was able to go home at 38 weeks. As she continues to grow, Celeste will be cared for through the Spina Bifida Clinic at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Akosua and her family are grateful for the life-changing surgery they were fortunate to have, and for the remarkable team at Orlando Health for providing them with compassionate care during their journey. Celeste is now walking as a result of the care and physical therapy she received at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer! Celeste is a happy and charismatic four year old who loves to play with her older sister!

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