Clara, 7, shines as historymaker and wheelchair softball player

[Allina Health Newsroom, October 12, 2023] Seven-year-old Clara Carlin made history at Allina Health while she was still in her mom’s tummy. Allina Health and Children’s Minnesota performed their first open fetal surgery on Clara, while her mother was 26 weeks pregnant with her.

Clara had a neural tube defect, also known as a spinal cord defect. The care team felt she’d have a better outcome if she had the surgery while still in her mother’s womb. The surgery was a success! Clara is now a second grader, a top reader in her class and has an infectious personality. “I’m an emotional person. I’m a happy person,” Clara said.

Clara plays for the Minnesota Rolling Twins Wheelchair Softball Team. Check out her video! Her smile alone lights up the screen.

Learn more about fetal surgery: What is fetal surgery? (
See how the partnership between Children’s Minnesota and Allina Health is leading to exceptional outcomes for infants.
Keep up with the Minnesota Twins Wheelchair Softball Team.

Posted on October 12, 2023 in PediatricsCourage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute

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