By Dana Kozlov

(CBS) — The news was a shock: Their baby had a large brain tumor that was threatening his life.

But the surgery to remove it could risk his life, too.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports on a new procedure that removed those risks.

Seventeen-month-old Giovanni Kaczmarek is about to welcome a new year — one his parents weren’t sure he’d see.

In April, at 9 months, doctors found a golf ball-sized tumor in the center of his brain — by chance.  He’d accidentally fallen off his changing table, so his parents took him to the emergency room for tests.

The news came as the Kaczmarek family was expecting their second child, Leonardo.

“There might have been that chance that I’d be very well welcoming a child and losing one,” Edward Kaczmarek, Giovanni’s father, says.

Pediatric neurosurgeon Bryan Bertoglio knew they had to operate immediately. Until now, this type of brain surgery was very invasive and potentially debilitating.

Bertoglio used a new, non-invasive procedure called Brain Path. Giovanni was only the third child in the U.S. to undergo the procedure.

“He was home a couple of days later, as if nothing had happened,” Bertoglio says.

The tumor was gone. The family’s gratitude — immeasurable.

There are no residual effects from the surgery, and Dr. Bertoglio does not think the tumor will return.

Giovanni’s parents say he loves being a big brother.