One mother will never know the elation of holding her newborn son in her arms or hear his tiny cries. She will never breastfeed her boy or hear his first infectious giggle, or watch him as he grows.
Tragically, the mother, from Portugal, has been in a coma for four months, declared brain dead after suffering a catastrophic brain haemorrhage in February.
As she lay in her hospital bed, her baby grew and grew inside her, and was finally delivered, via caesarean section, yesterday.
“The foetus was in good health”
“The baby boy, weighing 2.35kg (5lb 3oz), was born after 32 weeks without complications and by caesarean section,” said the Lisbon hospital that safely delivered the child.
The decision was taken to keep the mother alive and deliver the baby in consultation with the family, added the hospital.
“The foetus appeared to be in good health,” added the hospital.
It follows the delivery of a 26 week-old baby boy to a mother who had been declared brain dead for 55 days in Poland in February. The baby, who was just 1kg at birth, was finally released from hospital in April.
“It’s rare to successfully maintain a pregnancy for so long, that it is at such an early stage, at 17 or 18 weeks,” said Barbara Krolak-Olejnik, head of the neonatal unit at the University Hospital in the southern city of Wroclaw.
Heartbreakingly, the mother’s life support system was turned off hours after the child was delivered.
One mum’s remarkable recovery
Just a week ago, Kidspot ran a story about mum Mairead O’Dea, who gave birth whilst in a coma. She, like the Portuguese mum, had also suffered a devastating brain haemorrhage.
Baby Morgan, dad Dave Hart and mum Mairead before she fell ill.
Thankfully, Mairead, who is 32, came out of her coma and is currently recovering from her ordeal in her native Ireland. Despite having problems with her short term memory and her vision, her family are thrilled by her progress.
The first time mum will shortly be reunited with her baby Morgan – who is still in the UAE with his dad and Miread’ husband Dave Hart, and paternal grandmother – in July or August.
Our thoughts are with Miread for a continued recovery – and of course with the family of both the Portuguese and Polish mums.
What an achingly bittersweet moment of one elated hello, and another heartbreaking goodbye.