In early February 1999, four-week-old Shayna, or "beautiful" in Hebrew, lay cuddled in her mother's arms, blissfully unaware that she was making history. Shayna Hope Kanfer was born with a large (9 cm x 9 cm)tumor stretching from her chin to her chest that if not treated could have cut off her windpipe and suffocated her at birth. The tumor was the size of an almond when it was spotted during a sonogram and grew fairly rapidly. It was the size of a grapefruit at the time of her birth.
The event of Shayna's birth was so unusual with a survival rate of an operation of this magnitude is one out of every 100,000. The "exit procedure," as it is called, took three hours and required Shayna to be delivered via Cesarean section up to her neck while doctors kept the umbilical cord attached and placed a slender tube in Shayna's trachea to keep her airway open. This surgery all took place on the mom's stomach. The tumor was later confirmed benign.