Doctors, Sisters, Care For Pregnant Mother with Brain Tumor

Two UT Southwestern Medical Center doctors, who happen to be sisters, worked together to save a pregnant mother with a brain tumor and her baby.

Rachel Creed, 26, wasn't sure whether having children was in the cards. She and her husband, Michael, had gotten pregnant but miscarried several times.

"I had to give it to God. That’s something that is in his control. He’s the one who creates life," Rachel Creed said.

So when she got pregnant, she did everything she thought was right.

"When I got a headache, I wouldn’t even take Tylenol," she said.

But the pregnancy took a turn when seizures sent the expecting mother to the hospital. Doctors found a brain tumor during her second trimester.

"We had someone speak to us earlier on when we first found out that I had a tumor. He had just said to us, 'Well, good luck trying find a surgeon who will do surgery on you while you're pregnant,'" recalled Rachel Creed.

The couple was referred to UT Southwestern Medical Center’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Toral Patel.

"Her best chance of her surviving, as well as baby surviving, was to have surgery," according to Patel.

Of course, monitoring the health of their unborn baby was a top priority, and Patel knew the perfect person for the job. Her sister, Dr. Shivani Patel, is a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Rachel Creed became the first patient the sisters have shared.

"It's a good experience. It's fun. You can get answers quickly. We're able to provide the Creeds with answers quickly because we're able to communicate faster than when you're not related," said Dr. Shivani Patel.

"They explained very nicely that [the baby]'s just going to go to sleep. I'll go to sleep and we're just going to wake up and everything will be good," said Rachel Creed.

Dr. Toral Patel removed the tumor, while Dr. Shivani Patel monitored baby Creed. A third family member joined them in the operating room as well.

Since UT Southwestern is a teaching hospital, it is standard procedure for a neurosurgical resident to scrub in for the operation. It wasn’t planned, but the resident who scrubbed in was the doctor sisters' brother.

It's a family of doctors whom the Creeds say was a part of the divine intervention they received.

"I think it was something that was meant to happen in a very sweet way," said Rachel Creed.

NBC 5's Kristi Nelson contributed to this report.

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