A former international athlete has given birth to a miracle baby boy and passed away hours later.
26-year-old Catarina Sequeira had been declared brain dead on December 26 after suffering an acute asthma attack at her home. She was 19 weeks pregnant at that time.
For 56 days, a ventilator kept her breathing to make sure her baby could survive, according to the BBC.
Hercilia Guimaraes, head of the neonatal department at the Sao Joao University Hospital Centre, said at a media conference that baby Salvador weighed 1.7kg (3.7lb) when he was born. He was also as healthy as “any other premature infant at the same gestation.”
Salvador was “the first baby born to a brain-dead mother” in the hospital.
Catarina had been kept alive on a ventilator until she suffered ‘respiratory deterioration,’ prompting doctors to perform a C-section earlier than planned.
Record PT reported that the baby is healthy but still needs respiratory support, “which is normal for the time of gestation.”
Obstetrician Marina Moucho said that the C-section was performed because the mother was experiencing “respiratory deterioration and there was difficulty ventilating the mother that resulted in some changes in the baby.
“The baby was not in pain, but there were some changes justified by the difficulty in maternal ventilation, and it was decided to end the pregnancy, which was considered to be the best for him.”
Filipe Almeida told the Observador website that the decision to keep Salvador alive while his mother was on life support was made after talking with Catarina’s family.
Catarina’s mother, Fatima Branco, said: “I have a bitter joy. I do not want to meet my grandson with this bitterness.”
She also said how she couldn’t fill the void of daughter’s loss with her grandchild but would have to ‘close the chapter’ of her daughter’s life first.
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