Medical rarity

Woman gave birth to baby 54 days after doctors declared her brain dead

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A medical team in Nebraska prolonged the life of a 22-year-old pregnant woman who was declared brain dead long enough for her to give birth. Doctors in Nebraska delivered Karla Perez’s child, Angel, on April 4, the Medical Health System recently announced. Twenty-two weeks into the pregnancy, Perez’s brain began bleeding leaving her comatose and clinically brain dead. “At 22 weeks, the baby can’t survive outside the uterus or outside of the womb, so if we were going to try and give baby Angel any chance of survival, we would have to try and prolong Karla’s pregnancy for as long as possible,” Todd Lovgren, a doctor at Methodist Women’s Hospital Perinatal Center, explained. “Karla’s family asked us to try and prolong Karla’s life and try to maintain her as long as possible for Angel’s benefit.” For doctors, it was exceedingly rare territory. According to the Washington Post, a brain dead woman had not given birth in the U.S. since 1999. But, on April 4, when Perez’s pregnancy hit 30 weeks, physicians delivered Angel by C-section. He weighed just 2 pounds, 2.6 ounces and he’s spent the last month in the neonatal ICU where his breathing is assisted by a nasal device and he eats through a feeding tube. Karla died two days after the delivery. The story of Karla and Angel — and how doctors and nurses rallied around them — is a truly inspiring one as Mother’s Day approaches.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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