Brain-Dead Mom Gives Birth to Baby Boy 55 Days After Dying

By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
April 22, 2016 Updated: April 24, 2016

A brain-dead Polish woman gives birth to a baby boy—55 days after her death.

The premature baby showed no signs of serious complications, a hospital official said on April 19.  

According to Al Jazeera, the 41-year-old mother was already brain-dead when she was rushed to the hospital in Wroclaw in November. 

She was then put on life-support for at least two months until the arrival of the baby.

“Her whole family wanted us to try to save the child,” Barbara Krolak-Olejnik, head of the neonatal unit at Wroclaw University Hospital told AFP News Agency.

They heard the baby’s heart beating, so they decided to let the 17-week-old fetus grow.

“It’s rare to successfully maintain a pregnancy for so long,” Krolak-Olejnik said.

According to Mariusz Zimmer, Gynecology clinic director at Wroclaw University Hospital, they were keeping a close eye on the baby as he continued to grow.

“After 25 weeks we gathered to decide what we have to do next. We concluded to prolong pregnancy as much as possible. When the 26th week of term came I got a call from the hospital at night and I was told that the woman’s body is too weak and we can’t wait more.”

The baby boy was born in January in the 26th week of the pregnancy, weighing just 1kg (2.2lbs).

However, according to Andrzej Kubler, Head of Anesthesiology Department at Wroclaw University Hospital, the mother died shortly after.

“She actually died, because the brain was dead, but her heart was beating. Usually we can support the person alive for a couple of hours in order to take the organs for people who need them. But a child was still alive, so we changed our tactics,” Kubler said.

Upon the baby’s arrival, the hardest thing was teaching the boy how to breathe independently, Krolal-Olejnik said.

“He was very active and sometimes he seemed to be ready to be switched off of breathing apparatus. But there were many failures.  This battle had lasted for almost two months until the child was able to breathe on his own,” she said.

According to BBC News, the little boy spent three months in intensive care and was discharged last week.

He now weighs 3 kilograms (6.6lbs).