CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina mom is celebrating her daughter’s first birthday, a year after the mother miraculously woke up from a coma when she heard her daughter cry.
Shelly Ann Cawley, 23, slipped into a coma after she had an emergency C-section, according to WCNC. Doctors were able to safely get the baby out, but a blood clot broke loose during the surgery that imperiled her life.
Doctors told Cawley’s husband that his wife’s chance of survival was slim. After a week in a coma, a nurse at Carolinas HeathCare System NorthEast came up with a novel idea to help Cawley.
“We’re a big proponent of skin-to-skin [contact]. We believe it has great benefits for the mom and the baby, and we just thought it can’t hurt, might as well give it a try,” nurse Ashley Manus told People Magazine.
Nurses placed Cawley’s healthy newborn daughter, Rylan, onto Cawley’s chest, hoping the close contact between the mother and daughter would trigger something in her body. The baby initially fell asleep because she was so peaceful laying there. Nurses had to tickle Rylan to get her to cry.
When the baby started crying, nurses saw a spike in Cawley’s vitals and she began to wake up.
“It’s a complete miracle. There no other words to describe it,” Manus said.
A year later, the Cawley family is celebrating Rylan’s first birthday. They even made a time capsule for her to open when she turns 18.
“I just look at her now and think of the amazing bond we have. I can tell her when she grows up that she saved my life,” she says to the magazine.
According to their Gofundme page, the couple is raising money to pay for medical bills and have written a book about their journey and faith.
To see more pictures of the family, visit Cawley’s Facebook page.