NEWS | October 3, 2018

First UC Davis fetal surgery patient turns 2


Matthew Saetern-Angeles, the first fetal intervention patient at the UC Davis Fetal Care and Treatment Center, turned 2 years old last week.

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Parents Bobby Angeles and Khae Saetern with their 2-year-old son Matthew. Watch Matthew's patient story.

Baby Matthew was diagnosed at 32 weeks gestation with fetal hydrops, a condition defined as an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the lungs or abdomen, which causes stillbirth if untreated. Parents Bobby Angeles and Khae Saetern had already experienced the loss of their first daughter, who was stillborn, and elected for fetal surgery to help their baby boy survive.

Using a needle intervention, UC Davis fetal surgeon Shinjiro Hirose successfully removed the excess fluid and placed a thoracoamniotic shunt, while Matthew was still in utero. Matthew was born at 33 weeks and spent two months in the UC Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before going home to his family in Elk Grove.

Now 2 years old, Matthew is hitting his milestones and is growing up to be a boy who loves animals and has a huge heart.

“He is such a sweet boy. He is starting to talk up a storm and has lots of energy,” said Bobby Angeles, who noted that they just had his second birthday party – a celebration for their baby boy who was saved by the health care team at UC Davis Fetal Care and Treatment Center.

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital providing care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for its critically ill patients, as well as a level I children's surgery center. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. For more information, visit