Baby Susan Torres Dies From Infection After Miraculous Birth

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 12, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Baby Susan Torres Dies From Infection After Miraculous Birth Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 12, 2005

Arlington, VA ( — Little baby Susan Torres died last night after battling a severe infection. She became the subject of international attention after her father decided to allow her mother to remain alive to give birth following a tragic car accident rather than letting both mother and baby die.

In an email provided to, Justin Torres, baby Susan’s uncle, said she passed away following an infection. An emergency surgery was unsuccessful.

"I am saddened to have to report that, following emergency surgery that we had hoped would correct a sudden deterioration in her condition, my niece Susan Ann Catherine Torres has passed away after only five shorts weeks with us," Justin wrote.

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 her die.

"Many of the people receiving this email joined us in prayer this summer and lent us their love, support, and hard work to bring her home," Justin wrote. "It was my fondest wish that we would shortly do just that. I hope that you will now offer my brother and his family your prayers for peace and comfort."

Susan Orr, a leading Bush administration official serving children’s needs within the Health and Human Services Department, was also aware of baby Susan’s death.

"It is with great sadness that I write to let you know that little baby Susan Torres died last night in the arms of her father from sepsis," Orr said. "Her intestinal track had completely withered and she was inoperable."

In August, doctors thought the prognosis was good for baby Susan to live, although they were still concerned about whether she would develop the melanoma herself. Babies in similar conditions with an afflicted mother develop the cancerous condition less than 25 percent of the time.

She was born two months premature and weighed less than two pounds.

At the time, Dr. Donna Tilden-Archer, director of neonatology at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, said Susan is "doing remarkably well."

Had she lived longer, Justin said he would have told his niece about the courage her mother displayed.

“I’m going to tell 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.

Related web sites:
Susan Torres Fund —