A pregnant mother who suffered a severe brain haemorrhage, was kept alive for 123 days until her ‘miracle’ twins were delivered via emergency caesarean section.
Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, 21, from Campo Largo in south Brazil, was nine weeks pregnant with her twins when she felt a sharp pain at the back of her neck in October last year.
She immediately called her husband, Muriel Padilha, 24, who rushed home to find her crying, shaking, and vomiting from the pain.
Mr Padilha then took her to hospital. “As I drove her to hospital, she said ‘I want you to be prepared to accept this because I will be staying there, I won’t be coming home’. Then she passed out and those were the last words she spoke to me and the last time I saw her alive,” he said.
Ms Padilha arrived at hospital with severe bleeding on the brain, and doctors diagnosed her with a cerebral haemorrhage.
Three days later, results of tests and scans didn’t look good and doctors declared her brain dead, and warned Mr Padilha there was no hope for the twins.
“They told me they would give the babies three more days of life because they had given my wife multiple CT scans, sedated her with powerful drugs and pumped her full of antibiotics and this meant everything had ended up in our babies. They said as soon as their little hearts stopped beating, they would turn off the gadgets and I would be able to bury my wife,” Mr Padilha said.
However, doctors detected faint heartbeats still inside the mother’s body, so, doctors made the radical decision to keep the seemingly doomed twins alive inside their mother’s womb.
Dr Dalton Rivabem, head of neurological ICU at Nosso Senhora do Rocio Hospital said that they were surprised to find that the twins were clinging to their lives. “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,” he said.
And so, for 123 days, the 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.
When the time has come, the premature twins were safely delivered via emergency caesarean section. All were emotional.
Ana Vitoria was born weighing 1.4 kg while her brother Asaph came in at 1.3 kg. Both were kept in incubators for three months but are in good health.
Finally, Ms Padilha’s ventilator was switched off in February.
Despite his wife’s death, Mr Padilha has described the birth of their twins as a ‘miracle’.
Their little angels are now in the care of Ms Padilha’s mother, Angela Silva, while Mr Padilha works. “I’m so proud of my daughter. It’s been hard losing her but she was a warrior right until the end, protecting her beautiful children and giving them life until the day she finally died,” she said.