Nebraska baby delivered weeks after his mother’s fatal stroke

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OMAHA, Neb. (KETV) — Doctors were unable to save a 22-year-old mother-to-be who collapsed after having a headache, but took extreme measures to make sure her unborn son lived — and he did.

“We took a leap of faith that the tragedy would turn into a healthy delivery,” said Sue Korth, VP and COO of Methodist Women’s Hospital.

In the eyes of his grandmother, baby Angel is a legacy and a miracle. His mother — Karla Perez — was 22 weeks pregnant when she came down with a terrible headache which turned out to be an intracranial hemorrhage, a brain bleed so bad that doctors knew she had little chance of survival.

“We don’t know why she had the bleed,” Dr. Andrew Robertson, medical director of Methodist Women’s Hospital, said.

Perez’s family said they wanted to do everything possible to save the baby, so doctors at Methodist tried a rare method. They needed to keep Karla alive as long as possible for the still-healthy infant growing in her womb. Just 15 babies have been born that way, and the last time was in 1999.

More than 100 people at Methodist worked with Perez, but nearly eight weeks after she was admitted to the hospital, the young mother’s health started to decline.

The doctor delivered a 2 pound, 12.6 ounce boy by C-section. Days later, Perez died. She not only gave life to her son; she gave new life to four more people by donating her organs.

Doctors are monitoring Angel for any possible health complications. They said because cases like his are so rare, it’s hard to know what to expect in the coming months for this little boy.