Baby Susan Torres Removed From Ventilator, Eating on Her Own

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Baby Susan Torres Removed From Ventilator, Eating on Her Own Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 8, 2005

Arlington, VA ( — Baby Susan Torres is doing well following her internationally followed birth last week months after her mother’s collapse. The Torres family released a statement Monday saying Susan no longer requires artificial help to breath and is being fed without medical assistance.

"Little Susan is doing extremely well," the statement read. "She has been removed from the ventilator and is being fed formula from an eyedropper."

"She is strong and alert, and is doing better than any of us could have hoped," the family added.

Doctors at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington said the prognosis is very good following baby Susan’s birth two days ago. She was born two months premature and weighed less than two pounds.

Dr. Donna Tilden-Archer, director of neonatology at the hospital, said Susan is "doing remarkably well."

"She’s a beautiful baby," Tilden-Archer told CBS News. "I checked in on her this morning and she’s breathing on her own. And she’s only requiring a very small amount of oxygen. She was sleeping on her tummy very peacefully, doing quite well."

Susan Torres, a 26 year-old researcher at the National Institutes of Health, suffered a stroke in May after a melanoma cancer spread to her brain. Her husband, Jason, and her parents agreed to allow Susan to remain alive on a respirator until baby Susan was born rather than letting the baby die.

There is no way of knowing if baby Susan will develop the melanoma and babies in similar conditions with an afflicted mother develop the cancerous condition less than 25 percent of the time.

Justin Torres, Susan Torres’ brother-in-law, said that, years from now, he will tell his niece about the courage her mother displayed.

“I’m going to tell her her mother was one of the toughest women I’ve ever met, that she was absolutely determined in what she did. … And that, ‘You cannot believe how many people fought for you,’” he said.

The Torres family has mounting medical bills for both mother and child that insurance will not completely cover. A web site has been established to raise funds to help.

The web site has raised more than $600,000 thus far and extra money raised will be used for a college fund for baby Susan or given to cancer research.

Related web sites:
Susan Torres Fund —