Twice Born – Stories from the Special Delivery Unit: Episode 3
premiered Tuesday, April 14, 2015.
Now PlayingPreview | Twice Born – Stories from the Special Delivery Unit
About the Program
Step inside the groundbreaking medical frontier that is fetal surgery with Twice Born, a gripping PBS mini-series that takes an intimate, inside look at the Special Delivery Unit at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where rare surgeries are done on babies still inside their mothers’ wombs.
With exclusive access to the elite unit, (where the production crew was embedded for 15 months), you’ll live with the expecting parents who all face a gut-wrenching decision: should they take a leap of faith to repair birth defects with pre-natal surgery, even if it means they might lose their child? You’ll experience rarely seen, real-time footage of operations on the fetus. And, you’ll gain a window into the inner lives of an unusual team of doctors who have defied skeptics and chosen to pursue this high-risk/high-reward career path. Twice Born serves up both arresting human drama and astonishing medical science.
Stories From the Special Delivery Unit
About the Episodes
Episode 1 (Premiered Tuesday, March 31, 2015)
The premiere episode sets the stage for the intense and emotional stories to come. Dr. Scott Adzick, Surgeon-in-Chief at the elite Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a pioneer of fetal surgery, explains his own conviction: if you can get to babies earlier, while they are still inside their mothers, you can stop some of the damage of birth defects before it is too late.
At the heart of the episode are the parents who journey from all over, hoping to find cures for their unborn babies’ maladies. Episode 1 introduces Lesly, a resourceful 23-year-old, single mother whose unborn baby has developed a massive tumor growing from her mouth. The episode includes never-before-seen operating room footage as Dr. Holly Hedrick performs a rare EXIT procedure and attempts to remove the tumor while the fetus is still attached to her mother. Meanwhile, Shelly and Bobby, a couple whose unborn child suffers from spina bifida, wait anxiously to find out if they are candidates for fetal surgery.
Meet the Parents
Lesly, mother of a baby delivered via EXIT procedure.
Bobby and Shelly, parents of a baby who had fetal surgery for Spina Biﬁda.
Tina and Brion, parents of twin babies diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion.
Geneva and Reggie, parents of a baby diagnosed with a bladder obstruction.
Episode 2 (Premiered Tuesday, April 7, 2015)
This episode revisits the dramatic story of Lesly and her newborn baby Lilly, as the doctors remove the remainder of the child’s tumor. Meanwhile, when their unborn twins are diagnosed with Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, Tina and Brion make an urgent visit to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The realities of life in the Special Delivery Unit become clear when the doctors deliver unexpected news to the couple. Bobby waits anxiously for the results of the pivotal surgery Shelly and the baby undergo to repair the fetus’s spine. The unique access of the series’ camera crew gives viewers a close-up look at this surgery on a baby in the womb — the first time ever in a major television broadcast.
Meet the Medical Team
Episode 3 (Premiered Tuesday, April 14, 2015)
The final episode delivers deeper insight into the personality and motivations of Dr. Scott Adzick, who takes viewers behind the normally closed doors of his life outside the hospital. This hour features a plastic surgeon beginning to reshape baby Lilly’s face, which culminates in a carefully planned reconstructive operation. Episode 3 includes an intimate view of the much-anticipated delivery of Bobby and Shelly’s baby. By the end of the hour, Shelly and Bobby have returned to Boston and begin to learn the longterm impact of the fetal surgery on their daughter and what lies ahead for her. The episode also chronicles the story of Geneva and Reggie, a couple from North Carolina whose world is shaken when doctors reveal that their unborn child has developed an often fatal lower urinary tract obstruction.
Twice Born – Stories from the Special Delivery Unit
was produced by Trailblazer Studios.
Follow these links for more information about fetal surgery, EXIT procedure, spina bifida, Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.
- PBS Video: Twice Born – Stories from the Special Delivery Unit
- Twice Born Production Credits
- Wall Street Journal: Study Backs Prenatal Fix
- PBS Topic: Health Technology
- PBS NewsHour: New Scan Improves Diagnosing Genetic Diseases in Newborns
- PBS Parents
- Watch: 0 to 5 in 30 Minutes! – Focused on prenatal to five-year-old care
Photos © PBS