Baby Angel is Born After Doctors Keep Brain Dead Mother Alive to Give Birth

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 1, 2015   |   12:06PM   |   Omaha, NE

A miracle baby has been born after doctors kept his brain dead mother alive long enough to give birth.

At birth earlier this month, Baby Angel weighed just 2 pounds and 16 ounces and Methodist Health System said a team of more than 100 doctors, nurses and staff were needed to help him make it out of his mother’s womb alive. But Baby Angel was almost never born.

Angel’s 22-year-old mother Karla Perez had to be kept alive for 54 days to give doctors enough time to deliver him via Cesarian section without delivering him too prematurely, thereby causing his death. Tragically, Karla collapsed in her Nebraska home in February after she complained of sever headaches. later, doctors determined she suffered from a brain bleed.

“Our team took a giant leap of faith,” Sue Korth, vice president and COO of Methodist Women’s Hospital, said in a statement Thursday announcing the successful procedure. “We were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do.”

NBC News has more on what happened that led to Baby Angel’s birth:

With her baby at just 22 weeks — too young to survive outside the womb — “it was then that we had decisions to make,” said Dr. Andrew Robertson at the Methodist Women’s Hospital.

Doctor’s had hoped to sustain Perez long enough to deliver her baby at 32 weeks, but the young woman’s condition deteriorated two weeks shy of the target date so Angel was delivered on April 4.

Angel was in an incubator and feeding through a tube, the hospital group said Thursday. “We are cautiously optimistic,” said neonatologist Dr. Brady Kerr.



LifeNews has chronicled many other occasions on which babies were born to mothers who were brain dead and kept alive at the time in order to save their lives.


A baby was born in Hungary in December after a very rare circumstance in which his brain-dead mother was kept alive for three months so he could be born. As LifeNews has previously reported, in a case out of the United States from 2005, this kind of situation has occurred previously but is far from common.

The case is not totally unique and another one like it occurred in Hungary in 2013.

On life support for nearly three months in order to facilitate the birth of her child, Susan Torres, in August 2005, gave birth to a baby girl. Susan Anne Catherine Torres was born by Caesarean section two months premature and weighed just one pound and 13 ounces and measured 13.5 inches long.

Torres, a researcher at the American National Institutes of Health, collapsed on May 7 and was rushed to hospital where she was diagnosed with stage four melanoma (cancer) and was declared brain dead, with no hope of recovery.

Hospital physicians discovered the melanoma, treated nine years earlier, had recurred metastasized to her brain. The tumor then hemorrhaged, causing brain death.

A mother of a two year-old son, Torres was 17 weeks pregnant at the time of her collapse. Doctors told her husband, Jason, that there was no hope of survival for his wife, but that they could possibly prevent their baby from dying if she was kept alive.

Justin and Susan’s parents agreed doctors should do everything possible to save the couple’s child.

Another such story involved a mother who was only eight weeks pregnant when she suffered a severe poly-substance drug overdose that nearly killed her. The doctors who treated her said that her body was deprived of oxygen for approximately four hours. The overdose combined with the lack of oxygen left brain damaged and she was put on life support at a local hospital.

Immediately after the incident, the woman’s family was told that her baby would not survive and suggested that she be taken off life support. Thankfully, the maternal grandmother was against this proposition and said that her daughter would want her child to have a chance. Now the baby, named Isabella Hope, is doing well and has been adopted by a loving family.

Unfortunately, some cases involving brain-dead pregnant women don’t turn out well because family members or medical professionals refuse to give the unborn child a chance and remove life-support even though there are two lives involved.

For example, earlier this year a Texas hospital decided not to appeal a judge’s decision to allow a husband’s bid to remove his “brain dead” pregnant wife from life support, an action that would end the life of his own unborn child. The woman, Marlise Munoz, collapsed in her home from a blood clot in her lungs when she was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child.