Pregnant woman postpones brain surgery to protect baby

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A mother who delayed her brain surgery to ensure the safety of her unborn child urges other moms to appreciate the simple moments with family.

"Valuing family is really, really important, and I think being able to spend quality time is so much more important than I ever thought it could be," Danielle Endres said.

Endres was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2012. Four days before her scheduled surgery, she found out she was pregnant.

"I knew that was gonna mean some pretty big things with this surgery. I didn't know if it was safe for me to have a baby. I didn't know if I would make it all the way through, didn't know if my baby would be normal, if she would be stillborn, what would be the case," Endres said.

Her doctor, Roc Chen, neurosurgeon with Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute and UTHealth, said they decided to postpone the surgery.

"It was a balance between how are we gonna keep mother safe and at the same time keep baby safe," Dr. Chen said. "It was a really brave decision. For us, we do our best to help, but as a mother, ultimately, it's her decision."

Emaline, 3 years old now, is perfectly healthy. Endres had the brain surgery a few months after giving birth.

"We're very lucky," Richard Endres said. "There are a lot of things that could have gone wrong but it kind of worked out."

Danielle wears a hearing aid now and has a little more trouble balancing while walking. Her next challenge -- balancing family life.

"Being a busy mom, you know, you don't get a handbook of 'ok, here's how you can be a good mom,'" Endres said. "That would be great."

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