MEMPHIS, Tennessee (KTRK) -- A team of doctors have successfully performed the world's first voice box reconstruction surgery.
2-year-old Cooper Kilburn has congenital high airway obstruction syndrome.
It blocks the airway and vocal cords and has a 90 percent mortality rate.
Thankfully the diagnosis was discovered before Cooper was even born when his mom was in a car accident at 17 weeks pregnant.
"If it hadn't been recognized on ultrasound because of that freak accident, and if you're religious, that accident is what brought all of this about. And otherwise, when Cooper was born, he was going to die," a doctor at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital said.
Fetus surgery was performed at 22 weeks. Two years later and another surgery, and now Cooper is beginning to make noises and only having to use his ventilator at night.