You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Brain-dead Nebraska mother kept alive for historical birth

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 2/05/2015 MELISSA CHAN
Newborn Angel Perez at Methodist Hospital © Methodist Health System Newborn Angel Perez at Methodist Hospital

A brain-dead and pregnant Nebraska mother was kept on life support for nearly two months so her baby could survive and be delivered in a historical birth.

Karla Perez, 22, became the first person on record in the United States, since 1999, to give birth after being kept on somatic support, health officials said.

"Our team took a giant leap of faith," said Sue Korth, vice president and COO of Methodist Women's Hospital, which delivered the baby. "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."

Perez was pregnant with her second child when she collapsed at her Waterloo, Neb., home from a catastrophic intracranial hemorrhage on Feb. 8. She was declared brain dead.

"It was then that we had decisions to make," said Dr. Andrew Robertson, maternal-fetal medicine, Methodist Women's Hospital Perinatal Center. "Karla's baby was fine, but its gestational age was too young to consider delivery."

The young mother was kept on life support for 54 days until her baby boy, Angel, was ready to leave the womb, Methodist Women's Hospital said.

He was delivered through a C-section on April 4 at 2 pounds, 12.6 ounces.

The infant's condition remains stable, and he has no severe complications, the hospital said.

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

Perez also donated her liver, two kidneys and her heart before passing, officials said.

More from New York Daily News

New York Daily News
New York Daily News
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon