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Brain-Dead Nebraska Mom Kept Alive For 54 Days To Deliver Baby

Fri, May 1, 2015 5:14pm EDT by 5 Comments
Image: Methodist Health System

A new life has entered the world, thanks to a dedicated team of more than 100 staff members. The child’s 22-year-old mother was brain-dead, but the medical team managed to keep her alive for 54 days in order to bring the baby to term. Heartbreaking and amazing all at the same time.

Karla Perez, 22, collapsed in her home in Waterloo, Nebraska, on February 8 after complaining of severe headaches. Not only did she suffer a brain bleed, which caused her to become brain-dead, but she was 22 weeks pregnant.

Brain-Dead Nebraska Mom Kept Alive For 54 Days To Deliver Baby

Karla an expecting mom, collapsed in her home after what doctors later determined was caused by a brain bleed. Sadly, she was left brain-dead at 22 weeks pregnant, according to the Washington Post. It was then that doctors at Methodist Women’s Hospital Perinatal Center sprung into action to save her child.

Although no one at the hospital had ever faced a case like this before, a team of more than 100 doctors, nurses and staff but their heads together to make sure the baby survived. Doctors had a minimum goal of keeping Karla going until she hit 24 weeks pregnant, according to the outlet.

“Our team took a giant leap of faith,” Sue Korth, vice president and COO of the hospital stated. “We were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do.”

“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 told the press. “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.”

The medical team was aiming to sustain her for 32 weeks, but Karla’s condition worsened around her 30 week mark. That’s when doctors performed a C-section on April 4, and delivered a 2 pound, 12.6 ounce baby boy named Angel. Sadly, his mom died two days later.

Thankfully Angel has been stable since his birth. He has been in the neonatal intensive care unit for about a month and remains on a nasal device, according to WP.

Our thoughts are with baby Angel and his family at this time.

— Brittany King