2015 CMN Miracle Child Brianna Murga

Rebeca Murga says that it wasn’t easy being pregnant with her first child Brianna. “I have a blood disorder and I had a difficult pregnancy with my baby. So to go through the struggle and to finally see my baby when she is born was a relief.” Said Murga.

Unfortunately for Rebeca and her husband, Luis, that moment was brief. “Immediately after I gave birth to her, I remember seeing her in the distance while they were cleaning her. They had her belly down and I could see this big bump on her back,” said Rebecca staring at the floor, remembering that day.  “I saw this big bump on her back,” said Brianna’s Father, Luis Murga. “The bump was almost as big as half of a baseball on her back. I couldn’t understand what was going on.” They knew something was wrong.

Within 48 hours of being born, Brianna met the two pediatric specialists that would change her life, Dr. Chetan Moorthy, Pediatric Interventional Radiologist and Dr. Benjamin Carcamo, Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist.

After several studies, including ultrasounds, blood work and x-rays, Brianna was diagnosed with a hemangioma. Dr. Chetan Moorthy, Pediatric Interventional Radiologist explains: “A hemangioma is venous malformation, a collection of blood vessels.  In Brianna’s case, the collections of blood vessels had a very slow flow, causing problems because they just got bigger and bigger.”

“What is rare about Brianna’s condition is that her hemangioma was also a combination of lymphangioma,” says Dr. Carcamo. “What was also special about Brianna is the location of her lesion and how big it was… it was very big.”

Brianna’s hemangioma was growing so fast that it started to push vital organs out of its way, including the spinal canal. According to Dr. Carcamo something needed to be done before it caused irreparable damage. “This lesion was growing so fast that it could have left her paralyzed, after that it was going to create serious complications to the heart and lungs.”

One option was to do surgery, which included a big incision and would destroy many muscles along the way, plus, it would be very difficult to get rid of all of the abnormal blood vessels. The other option was to take a minimally-invasive approach that Dr. Moorthy, an interventional radiologist, could do right here in El Paso. “What we do is we put small needles into different parts of the abnormal veins. Once we make sure we are inside the abnormal vein we inject medicine to close off the vein and turn it into scar tissue on the inside. The complication with this procedure is that if the needles are not completely inside of the veins, the medicine could go to her entire system and stop her heart,”  said Dr. Moorthy.

Before the creation of El Paso Children’s Hospital, Dr. Moorthy was the only board certified pediatric interventional radiologist in the city for the city for fourteen years. Now with the creation of El Paso Children’s hospital, there are three other pediatric radiologists that take care of kids in El Paso.

“If El Paso Children’s Hospital didn’t exist, I can guarantee you that we would have been jumping from one hospital to another. We feel very secure having El Paso Children’s Hospital. And we are glad that this is here in our city,” said Rebeca Murga.