Doctors keep mom's body functioning so baby could survive

AP News
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Posted: Apr 30, 2015 5:06 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A brain-dead woman was kept on life support for more than seven weeks so the baby she was carrying could survive, Omaha doctors said.

The 2-pound, 12.6-ounce boy, named Angel, was delivered earlier this month at Methodist Women's Hospital. His mother, 22-year-old Karla Perez, had collapsed at home in Waterloo in early February after complaining of a bad headache. Doctors discovered a brain bleed and determined that she was brain-dead.

Her family members told doctors they wanted to do everything possible for the baby she was carrying. Omaha television station KETV reports doctors determined they needed to keep Perez's body alive for the baby to continue growing.

The fetus was just 22 weeks along and couldn't survive outside of the womb when Perez died, Dr. Todd Lovgren told television station WOWT.

"If we were going to give baby Angel any chance of survival, we were going to have to prolong Karla's pregnancy as long as possible," he said.

A team of more than 100 doctors, nurses and staff kept Perez alive for nearly two months, and when her condition worsened on April 4, doctors performed a cesarean section. Angel was immediately admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, where he continues to grow.

Days after the procedure, Perez was pronounced dead and her organs were donated.

"I have no words for the attention and how they took very good care of my daughter," Angel's grandmother Berta Perez told WOWT.