Meet Silas Philips, the baby who was born a bubble boy.
Silas was born " en caul ," or completely in his amniotic sac. According to neonatologist William Binder, Silas’s doctor, this happens in less than one out of every 80,000 births. So naturally, Binder had to snap a picture.
“Even though it’s a cliche — we caught our breath,” neonatologist Binder told CNN affiliate KCAL. “It really felt like a moment of awe.” But that breathtaking moment didn’t catch the Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Medical Center doctors off guard — they quickly got to work helping Silas to breathe.
How did this happen? The amniotic sac, the bubble that covers and cushions a fetus from conception until birth, fills with fluid as baby grows. Normally, it breaks as mom goes into labor, and that fluid rushes out. But sometimes, it can get stuck on part of baby, like the head. The result? It looks like you’ve given birth to an astronaut, which is where the term “en caul” comes from — “caul” derives from the Latin word for helmet.
In Silas’s case, however, the entire sac stayed in tact. The scalpel didn’t even rupture it during his c-section.
“It was definitely like a clear film, where you could definitely make out his head and his hair,” Chelsea Philips, Silas’s grandmother, says.
Now, Silas is a free — and healthy — little man.