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Brain-dead Woman Gives Birth


Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
A brain-dead pregnant woman who has been kept on life support for nearly three months to give her foetus more time to develop gave birth to a baby girl, the woman's brother-in-law said.

There were no complications during delivery and the baby "is doing well," Justin Torres wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. The baby, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, weighs 812g and is 34.3cm long, he said. The infant was delivered on Tuesday via caesarean section, the hospital said.

Susan Torres, a 26-year-old researcher at the National Institutes of Health, lost consciousness from a stroke May 7 after aggressive melanoma spread to her brain. Her husband, Jason Torres, said doctors told him his wife's brain functions had stopped.

Jason Torres quit his job to be by his wife's side, and last month her foetus passed the 24th week of development - the earliest point at which doctors felt the baby would have a reasonable chance to survive, the brother-in-law said.

A website to help raise money for the family's mounting medical bills had received about $400 000 in donations from around the world as of two weeks ago, Justin Torres said. The family said it must pay tens of thousands of dollars each week that insurance does not cover.

Torres was about seven months' pregnant when the child was delivered. Doctors had hoped to hold off on delivering the child until 32 weeks' gestation. A full-term pregnancy is about 40 weeks.

The infant is being monitored in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Virginia Hospital Centre in Arlington, about 160km north of Richmond.

"The entire staff and administration of Virginia Hospital Centre, especially the physicians and nurses caring for Susan Torres and Baby Girl Torres, are delighted with the successful delivery," the hospital said in a statement.

A spokesperson declined to release any additional information, including Susan Torres' condition and whether or not her life support was still in place.