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First in the world surgery on miracle baby

WEST PEORIA - A few weeks after having a baby, West Peoria mother Ashleigh Berry went to pick up her newborn daughter, Harleigh, and found her stiff and unresponsive.

After calling 9-1-1, performing CPR and being rushed to the emergency room, doctors learned Berry's daughter had had two brain aneurysms. 

Neurosurgeon Jeff Klopfenstein at OSF Illinois Neurological Institute in Peoria determined he was going to have to close off her artery and use a vessel smaller than a piece of human hair to replace the artery to bypass it. Not only was this the first time he had to do a surgery of this kind, but it is believed to be the first surgery in the world to be performed on a baby that young and that size.

"As far as we can tell, she's the youngest aneurysms that has been reported in literature," Klopfenstein said. 

Barry said if anything had happened differently, it would be likely Harleigh would not be here today. 

"I love her so much. She amazes me. This whole ordeal has amazed me," Berry said. 

Harleigh will continue to get checkups over the coming weeks and months, and they will closely monitor her progress over time. 


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