Baby Receives Life-Changing Surgery

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AKRON-- A Summit County baby makes history when he is born at an Akron hospital.

He returned there Friday for a very intricate and life-changing surgery.

“He's just precious. He's sweet. And, you just can't help but kiss him, hold him and love on him.” That’s how Andrew and Angie Daniell of Bath talk about their two-month-old son, Ashton.

An ultrasound at 34 weeks revealed that their second child would be born with a mass on his neck. “Then we obviously started to worry,” Angie Daniell said.

In nearly 125 years of caring for children, Ashton is the first baby born at Akron Children's Hospital.  Akron Children's Hospital cares for babies after their born, but they've never done a delivery before this one.

All of the necessary medical staff was on standby in case he needed immediate surgery to survive.  "With Ashton, we heard a little bit of noise; it was gurgled. But, you could tell that the doctors were a little bit relieved,” Andrew Daniell said.

Everyone was relieved because that gurgled noise meant that the non-cancerous growth was not impeding his airway and Ashton could breathe on his own.

"He's actually been like any other baby. My husband and I kind of laugh about it because I think other people see him and think oh my gosh, look at the mass -- the size of that mass.  But, we don’t hardly notice it anymore,” Ashton's mom said.

But, Dr. John Crowe, pediatric surgeon at Akron Children’s Hospital said the mass needed to be removed.  "It would never change. His head is in a fixed position because of it.   Fortunately it didn't cause an airway obstruction,” he added.

While the Daniells could have gone elsewhere, they wanted Ashton to have this life-changing surgery to remove the growth at Akron Children's Hospital where he was born. They have faith in the doctors -- and, they have faith in God.

"You know God had his hand on all of this and God’s in control,” Angie Daniell said.

The Daniells added that no matter what life brings, they love their son unconditionally.

Ashton spent more than four hours in surgery to remove the mass on his neck Friday.

Doctors say all went well and he should be home in a few days. “We just want him to have the most normal life as possible,” Ashton's mom said.