Woman gives birth three months after being declared brain dead


A miracle baby has been born three months after his mother was declared brain dead and placed in an induced coma following a severe asthma attack.

Catarina Sequeira, 26, suffered an acute asthma attack at 19 weeks pregnant and put in an induced coma in December, BBC reported.

The condition of Ms Sequeira, who was an international marathon canoe champion from Portugal, steadily deteriorated and she was declared brain dead on December 26, according to local reports.

Catarina Sequeira, 26, who had represented her country in canoeing, suffered a fatal asthma attack in December. Source: Twitter/Douro Canoa Clube
Catarina Sequeira, 26, who had represented her country in canoeing, suffered a fatal asthma attack in December. Source: Twitter/Douro Canoa Clube

Portugal’s organ donation laws allowed for doctors to attach a ventilator to Ms Sequeira to enable her unborn baby to survive in the womb until he was born at almost 32 weeks gestation.

Doctors told local media they intended to wait until last Friday to reach 32 weeks for the best chance of the baby’s survival, but Ms Sequeira’s respiratory condition had deteriorated so fast they had to act quickly.

The C-section was reportedly brought forward to Thursday and baby Salvador was born weighing 1.7kg and is now being cared for in a neonatal hospital.

“Being a donor is not just about being in a position to donate a liver or heart or lung, but also being in a position to give yourself so a child can live,” head of the hospital’s ethics committee, Filipe Almeida, told the Observador news outlet.

Baby Salvador was born weighing 1.7kg and is now being cared for in a neonatal hospital. Source: Getty/file
Baby Salvador was born weighing 1.7kg and is now being cared for in a neonatal hospital. Source: Getty/file

“And no one has the right to interrupt the mother’s decision process.”

Ms Sequeira’s mother, Fatima Branco, told reporters she had to first grieve the loss of her daughter before she could fill the void with her new grandson.

This is the second such case in Portugal of a baby born to a woman who was brain dead, after baby Lourenço was born in 2016.

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