Doctors at Hartford Hospital performed a rare surgery on a partially born baby Tuesday, while having to adhere to restrictions set by the mother’s religion.

Doctors determined in December that the baby, Gabriel Vasquez, had a large cyst in his mouth that would prevent him from breathing if he was delivered naturally.

Doctors had to perform an operation while the baby was still in Margarita Vasquez’s uterus in order to remove the cyst. But they could not use blood transfusions, which are prohibited by the religion of the Vasquezes, who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Once the delicate procedure was complete, Gabriel Vasquez was delivered, but it had to be what doctors call a “bloodless” procedure because of the Vasquezes’ religion.

“We will absolutely respect her religious beliefs and not give her a blood transfusion, but it presents a challenge in order to get her through a complex procedure like this,” nurse Suzanne Russell said.

Both mother and baby are doing well and are expected to make a full recovery, doctors said.

–Associated Press