Baker Roth, an 18-month-old baby from Jenks, Oklahoma has been through a lot of trials in his life at a very young age. Before he was born, his parents were wishing for him to be healthy and normal. Sadly, Baker had to be under so much stress minutes after he is welcomed into this world.
After Baker was diagnosed with a birth defect and childhood cancer, the doctors also discovered that there is another problem – his tongue.
After he was born, the boy needed emergency surgery to fix a birth defect that can possibly cause his organs to stick out of his belly. A condition called ‘omphalocele.’ With Bakers condition before the surgery, part of his intestines and also his kidney was growing outside of his body. Luckily, the surgery went well. However, his suffering did not end there.
The doctors discovered that the little boy has a cancerous tumor on his liver. His condition is called “hepatoblastoma.” Baker needed to be treated immediately. He had to undergo multiple chem rounds to drive the cancerous tumor into remission. It did after 3 months of intense and exhausting chemo sessions on his tiny body.
His cancer is in remission and his parents were hoping that he would finally be able to live a normal and healthier life. This is when the doctors noticed that he has an unusually large tongue. Something very serious that they should not take for granted.
During his ultrasound results, he was sticking out his tongue and the doctors thought that it was ‘cute.’ They did not realize back then that Baker is already dealing with a very rare condition, the Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. This condition causes some overgrowth in certain parts of the body, like the tongue.
This condition is very rare and it only affects 1 in every 14,000 births. His tongue started to cause breathing problems. Bakers’ tongue is twice as large as the size of a normal tongue. This is when the doctors knew that they had to do something about it before it’s too late. So instead of going home, Baker had to spend more time at the hospital. This became his and his parents’ temporary home.
His condition though can be remedied by surgery. That might be a reason to be relieved, but the parents were again warned that their boys’ tumor markers increased again. This could be a bad sign that the cancer is coming back. His mom Farrah said, “Unfortunately we got that phone call you don’t want to get after getting our labs done last week… We are believing that it could possibly be liver regeneration causing Baker’s tumor marker to go up more than it should.”
At the moment, their priority is to have Bakers’ tongue resolved because it is causing a lot of problems. Because of the size of his tongue, Baker can’t speak and it’s blocking his airways so he has to breathe through a tube on his throat. He also cannot eat anything solid. Once the surgery for tongue-reduction is successful, the parents are hoping that Baker would finally be able to breathe on his own, without the help of the tube.
Even though the Roth family is going through a lot of hurdles in their lives, they are not giving up. They remain hopeful that someday soon, Baker would be able to live a normal life, the life that he deserves.