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At just 25 weeks old, Gabriela Gastelum was born prematurely and weighed only a pound. She faced numerous health challenges, including a grade three brain bleed that required multiple surgeries to insert shunts to drain fluid from her brain. Despite being told she could never have children due to her health issues, Gastelum underwent six cycles of IVF and eventually became pregnant with twins.

During her pregnancy, Gastelum experienced complications related to the shunts in her brain, causing her to become comatose at 30 weeks. Dr. Thomas Beaumont, a neurosurgeon at UC San Diego Health, performed a procedure to insert an external shunt to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure in her brain. This allowed Gastelum to wake up and safely deliver her twins via C-section two weeks later.

After the birth of her daughters Liyah and Natalia, Gastelum required another shunt revision. Dr. Beaumont and his team performed the procedure to ensure Gastelum’s continued health and well-being. Both twins spent time in the NICU but are now home with their family, happy and healthy.

Gastelum’s resilience and determination as a preemie inspire hope for other families facing similar challenges. Her story highlights the medical professionals who care for premature babies and their dedication to ensuring their patients receive the best possible care.

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