Rare Procedure at Mercy Saves Baby Zoey’s Life

December 17, 2019

An Oklahoma family will have an extra special Christmas this year as they celebrate the birth of their miracle baby, Zoey.

After multiple miscarriages, Ethan and Bailey Murray learned they were pregnant with Zoey in early 2019. At 28 weeks pregnant, Bailey learned she had a rare condition that caused her antibodies to attack her baby’s red blood cells.

Dr. Jennifer Smith, a maternal fetal medicine specialist, told Bailey she would need to have an in-utero blood transfusion. The procedure takes matching donor blood and transfers it to the baby in the womb guided by an ultrasound.

“This is a rare condition that occurs in around one to 2% of all pregnancies and only about 10% of those cases qualify for the procedure,” said Dr. Smith.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute worked to find a donor with a matching blood type and four specific markers.


Dr. Smith performed two successful in-utero blood transfusions on baby Zoey while she was still in her mother’s womb. Zoey was born eight weeks early at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. After a stay in Mercy’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Murrays got to take their little girl home. She is happy, healthy and adjusting to a new life surrounded by her three brothers.

"It's terrifying to think what could have happened, but we are just so thankful for the blood donations, Dr. Smith and her team and the NICU team here at Mercy for helping our little girl," said Bailey.