A baby who was not expected to live and captured the heart of the Internet last month with her stunning photos has defied all odds, according to her parents and doctor.
The story of Abigail Jones and her family, first reported by ABC News, began when she was diagnosed in utero with deadly brain cancer. Doctors told her parents she would likely die soon after birth and that surgery or chemo would likely kill her. Her parents took her home with pediatric hospice care and waited for what they thought was the inevitable.
But Abigail thrived, her parents said. And while her tumor was in fact still large and present, the baby girl -- who was also born with Down syndrome, also diagnosed before her birth -- continued to grow and develop.
"She is the chillest baby ever," her mother, Erika Jones, told ABC News in September. "She just loves to be held. She watches your face, tracks it with her eyes. She's had her feeding tube removed and is gaining weight."
With every day that passed, her parents said they dared to hope. And despite being told there was nothing to be done, the Jones family found a doctor who felt differently.
"The family was sent home from the hospital in Florida having been given a death sentence for Abigail," Dr. Alan R. Cohen, neurosurgeon-in-chief at Boston Children’s Hospital, said. "They [the Jones family] contacted Boston Children's Hospital and Mark Kieran, chief of neuro-oncology, and I reviewed the MRI and thought the tumor actually might not be malignant. I spoke to mom on the phone and told her that I thought there was enough question about the diagnosis that we should not give Abigail a death sentence."
Last week, the Jones family traveled to Boston. "We repeated an MRI, which again made me suspicious that the tumor was not, in fact, malignant. We operated on Abigail through a left frontoparietal craniotomy and removed the tumor, which, in fact, was benign."
Cohen said he does not believe the tumor will return.
On her Facebook page, Abigail's Joy, her parents' posted: "Praising Him this morning! So consumed with joy. Can't hardly breathe looking at this beautiful girl. My girl. I get to keep you!! I can't wait to see your story unfold. To tell you how you are a living testimony of healing. Amazing. Overwhelmed!"
And as they prepared to leave the hospital Monday: "We can never express how much BCH means to our family. It has changed our lives forever. We are eternally grateful."
Of the future, Cohen said, "Her prognosis is excellent. This is a story with a very sad beginning and a very happy ending."