Brain dead pregnant woman, 21, was kept alive for 123 days - the longest period ever - before delivering healthy twins via a 'miracle' caesarean section
A brain dead pregnant woman was kept alive for 123 days - the longest time ever - before delivering twins by emergency caesarean section.
Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, 21, from Campo Largo in south Brazil, died during pregnancy in October last year after suffering a stroke.
Doctors decided to save the nine-week-old embryos after their hearts continued to beat inside their mothers' womb.
Staff at Nosso Senhora do Rocio hospital decorated the space around Ms Padilha's bed with pictures of her, sung to the unborn children and talked to the growing infants in an effort to substitute their mother's love.
The babies' father has described their birth as a 'miracle' after doctors said they had no hope of surviving.
Ms Padilha died nine weeks into her pregnancy in October last year after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage. Her ventilator was switched off in February.
The twins' father, Muriel Padilha, 24, has described their birth as a 'miracle' after doctors initially told him there was no hope of them surviving.
Dr Dalton Rivabem, head of neurological ICU at the hospital, said: 'We did an ultrasound on the embryos thinking they would be failing in the womb but to our surprise they were clinging to life.
'Frankielen's organs were all intact and working as if she was still with us. We took the decision to keep her alive to save her unborn children. And every day we watched them grow normally.'
Dr Rivabem sought help from a doctor in Portugal who had handled a similar case where a foetus gestated for 107-days before being born.
He said: 'There have been other cases, but ours is the longest one with 123 days - four months, and we started with embryos at two months and delivered twins.
'One of our main concerns was to keep the organ functions continual for the babies to grow and develop.'