September 12, 2005

Xtreemie Born To Brain-Dead Mother Dies Of Infection

That pregnant, brain-dead woman in Virginia whose husband struggled to keep her body alive until their baby was viable, who gave birth to a girl in August just as the cancer was ravaging her body? The kid just died. Infection. One of those rare exceptions to what Eric Snowdeal once commented about, where there's all this media coverage of a "miracle baby" who's inevitably "doing just fine" in the NICU, but you never hear about the illnesses and complications that so often set in afterward.


Infant Born to Dying Mother Dies as Result of Infection [ap, via nyt]
Previously: Brain-dead mother gives birth at 24 weeks


it's hard to say from the descriptions in the media accounts, but i'm guessing that she died from complications from necrotizing entercolitis which is something that any xtreemie parent learns to fear in the nicu and is the most common cause of intestinal perforation in infants weighing less that 1,500 grams. i remember being astounded to learn that there are people in this world who specialize in repairing the intestines of such small babies, but obviously even with all the improvements, it's still a difficult surgery and the secondary effects from the infection are difficult to overcome.

and speaking of media coverage, i wonder if the writer of this miami herald article is regretting her over exhuberance ( note the dateline of the article ):

"Daniel Fuller knows well the anguish facing a Virginia dad, Jason Torres, who received worldwide attention recently when he kept his wife, dying of cancer, on life support until she could give birth to a tiny girl.

Nearly six years later, the 34-year-old Fuller, who lives in West Kendall, can tell Torres there is light after such darkness."

sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't.

I can't even fathom this. Lose my wife and then daughter before I even knew her. I don't know how I could go on.

[hopefully the 2-year-old kid at grandma's would be some motivation, even as he compounds the grief of the whole situation. -ed.]

All our prayers are with the entire family. Somehow.....someway life goes on. Both mother and daughter are together and in a better place.

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