A baby boy has been delivered almost two months after his mother died, in the western Polish city of Wroclaw.
Baby Wojtus’s mother died from a brain tumour in her 17th week of pregnancy, but as her unborn child was still alive, her vital functions were sustained until the boy could be delivered.
Wojtus was born 55 days after his mother died – weighing just 2.2lbs, and has now been allowed to leave the hospital with his father.
The deceased woman, whose name has not been released, had known about the existence of her brain tumour for the last ten years.
However, she had refused to undergo the risky surgery to have the tumour removed and opted instead to live out the rest of her life with the tumour.
Polish media reported that she had been able to live a normal life for many years before suddenly losing consciousness and collapsing.
The woman, who was in her 17th week of pregnancy, passed away on the way to Wroclaw University Hospital, but medical staff were able to stabilize her vital organs before the foetus died.
The medical team proposed to keep her ‘alive’ until 28th or 30th week of pregnancy.
Head doctor of the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Andrzej Kubler said: ‘We had no experience with such a long-term maintenance of vital functions of a patient with irreversible brain damage.’
The patient was connected to a respirator, fed through a tube and intravenously given medication to fight off infections and falling blood pressure.
Finally, on January 9, at 27 weeks of pregnancy, the decision was made that they could not wait any longer – after 55 days in his dead mother’s womb, Wojtus was born by Cesarean section.
He weighed only 2.2 lbs and he was immediately put under the care of neonatologists.
According to local media, Wojtus’s father had been living in the hospital since his wife’s body was admitted, with the nurses saying that the father was very involved in his son’s rehabilitation.
Wojtus has been making rapid progress, has tripled in weight to 6.6 lbs, and was recently discharged from the hospital.
The operation has reportedly been hailed as a miracle by the Polish medical profession who commended the team of Polish doctors’ work.
This is the 16th such case in the world and a first in Poland.