‘Brain dead’ woman kept alive 54 days to give birth to healthy baby boy

"Karla's baby was fine, but its gestational age was too young to consider delivery."
Mon May 4, 2015 - 6:09 pm EST
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May 4, 2015 ( -- A young Nebraska mother kept alive via life-support for close to two months has given birth to a healthy boy, making history while giving life to others.

When 22-year-old Karla Perez collapsed at home February 8 with a catastrophic intracranial hemorrhage and was declared “brain dead,” doctors acted quickly.

"It was then that we had decisions to make," Dr. Andrew Robertson, who works in maternal-fetal medicine at Methodist Women's Hospital Perinatal Center, told the New York Daily News. "Karla's baby was fine, but its gestational age was too young to consider delivery."

Karla Perez was placed on life-support and – 54 days later, on April 4 – her son Angel was delivered via C-section. The baby weighed 2 lbs., 12.6 oz.

The delivery made Karla Perez the first person since 1999 on record in the U. S. to give birth after being kept alive via artificial means.

"Our team took a giant leap of faith," said Sue Korth, vice president and COO of the hospital. "We were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do. Karla's loss of life was difficult, but the legacy she has left behind is remarkable."

Angel is Karla Perez’s second child, and he remains in stable condition without major complications.

His life continues to make history, as medical experts navigate his care.

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"There is nothing in the books about how to provide medical care in this situation," said maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Todd Lovgren.

  angel perez, brain dead, brain death, culture of life, karla perez

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