A BABY born with a growth the size of a melon on her face is back at home in Widnes after life-saving surgery.
Mia Molyneux was born with the cyst, that weighed almost half as much as she did, on the side of her face.
In a nine-hour operation, surgeons removed the growth, pumping 96 pints of blood into Mia’s body to keep her alive.
Now, aged 20 weeks, she has been given the all clear to go back to the family home in Widnes.
Mum Michaela, 20, said: "I was absolutely terrified when I found out Mia had something wrong with her.
"The doctors were urging me to terminate the pregnancy, as they feared Mia would be severely disabled, but I absolutely refused.
"When she was born I fell in love with her instantly. When I looked at her I saw my baby girl alive, not the growth.
"The operation to remove the it was really risky - I was terrified the cyst would rupture and she would bleed to death - but the surgeons were amazing.”
Medics realised there was something wrong with the pregnancy after Michaela booked herself in for an extra ultrasound scan to determine the sex of the baby.
Sonographers quickly spotted a huge swelling on the baby's face - and feared she would be born with severe disabilities.
Doctors were concerned about the baby and urged Michaela to terminate the pregnancy, but the mum-to-be refused to give up.
At 36 weeks pregnant, still unsure of her unborn baby's exact prognosis, Michaela had an MRI scan which confirmed that Mia had combined venous-lymphatic malformation.
A caesarean was planned for March, at Liverpool Women's Hospital, as a natural birth would be too dangerous.
Medics were so worried about the procedure, there were 18 doctors and nurses in the room when Mia was born.
The baby's lung collapsed minutes after she was born, and she was rushed to intensive care.
When Mia was six days old, surgeons decided to operate on the cyst.
Michaela said: "The surgeon explained that there was a risk that it might rupture and that she would bleed and they wouldn't be able to control it.
"They said if that happened then there will be nothing they can do for her."
Doctor Adam Donne, paediatric ENT surgeon at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, carried out the surgery, and said: "This was an extremely difficult and rare case and Mia's condition was critical. The lesion was very delicate and therefore bleeding was challenging.
"This is a wonderful example of how the doctors and nurses throughout Alder Hey work well together to save the life of a newborn."
Michaela said: "She looked so battered and bruised, it was heartbreaking seeing her in that state. It was so hard not being able to hold her until she was 15 days old."