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Emergency surgery at 2 months leads to healthy toddler and tremendous gratitude: the Kosty family’s story

Three-year-old Joe Kosty’s medical journey began long before he was born.

By Kortney Scroger

Three-year-old Joe Kosty’s medical journey began long before he was born. His mother Megan’s obstetrician noticed a big black spot during a routine ultrasound at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center.

“It definitely trigged my ‘mommy instincts,’” Megan says. “They kept looking and measuring the spot; I knew something was wrong. The doctor told me that it was a mass that looks to be filled with fluid, but that’s all they could tell me.”

Megan proceeded to have ultrasounds often. Each time, Joe was growing just as he should be, but so was the mass. At 28 weeks, Megan was referred to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Once at Mary Bridge Children’s, it was determined that Joe would most likely have to have surgery to drain or remove the cyst soon after he was born.

“When I found out that I would have to literally hand my baby off for surgery, I was so worried,” Megan says. “The only thing that got me through the rest of the pregnancy was having my daughter, who was 3 at the time, to just keep me busy.”

After giving birth, baby Joe stayed for observation at the MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for five days. Megan, her husband (also Joe) were with him the whole time.

“The nurses there were amazing,” Megan remembers. “Everyone who either works in the NICU or at Mary Bridge Children’s are angels on earth.”

After observation, Joe’s surgery was postponed until after his six-week check-up. By that time , his stomach had become distended and hard, bringing the Kosty family back to Mary Bridge Children’s for Joe’s first — and second —surgery at just two months old.  

Joe Kosty - 4

During the first surgery, the cyst was drained (the less invasive option). But in recovery, it quickly filled back up with fluid. Joe was then taken in for another surgery.

“I had to hand my baby over two times in 48 hours; it was like a gut punch,” Megan says. “But, when he went in for the second surgery, I had a good feeling. I had asked the surgeons to take care of my baby, and I knew they would.”

When Megan found out they were able to remove the cyst, it was as if a weight was lifted. The family stayed at Mary Bridge Children’s for two weeks before returning to their home in Kent.

“It was just the happiest day,” Megan says. “The whole experience is something I'm still reeling from. I get emotional every time I tell the story. It's like that saying, ‘You never know how strong you are until it's the only choice you have.’ That’s definitely true. I would have never thought I could go through something like that and come out on top. And, I feel like we are one of the lucky ones, because we have our baby, and he’s happy and healthy.”

Gratitude returned with generosity

Every year, Joe returns to Mary Bridge Children’s for a check-up. Megan says he continues to take everything in stride. At 3 years old, he doesn’t even blink when he gets his blood drawn.

After all the hospitality and care shown over the past three years by Mary Bridge Children’s, Megan decided that her gratitude would be best demonstrated through a gift to Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation’s Where The Need Is Greatest Fund.

“They saved my baby,” Megan says. “I have a beautiful son that I get to see grow up now because of his surgeons and care team. How do you ever thank someone for that? They are all so special; I don’t even think this donation covers it.”

You can follow in the Kosty family’s footsteps and help families like theirs with a gift to Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation today.

Learn more about Mary Bridge Children’s comprehensive pediatric surgical services and experts.