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Karla Perez was just 22 weeks pregnant when she collapsed at her home in Omaha, Nebraska after complaining about a severe headache in early February.
She was later pronounced brain dead at Methodist Women's Hospital. Doctors initially thought it was a stroke, but a CT scan showed she had suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage.
The Perez family immediately became concerned for the well-being of her unborn baby, who she had planned to name Angel, and urged doctors to do whatever possible to help him.
Baby Angel. (Photo Credit: YouTube)
Karla was less than five months into her pregnancy, which is too early for a baby to leave the womb, so medical professionals decided to keep the 22-year-old on a ventilator until the baby could be delivered via caesarean section.
"At 22 weeks a baby can't survive outside of the uterus or outside of the womb and so if we were going to give baby Angel any chance of survival we were going to have to prolong Karla’s pregnancy as long as possible with the minimum being possibly 24 weeks," Dr. Lovgren told local news station 'WOTV.'
Things took a scary turn on April 4, when her body began to shut down. Doctors had to perform an emergency caesarean to try to save the baby's life.
Fortunately, they did — and Angel was welcomed to the world, weighing a little more than two pounds. He's now in NICU. His mother, Karla, who had remained in a coma, died shortly after. She was also the mother of a daughter named Genesis, nearly 3.
(Photo Credit: Methodist Health System)
Though the situation is bittersweet, Angel's grandmother, Berta Jiminez, is choosing to see the positive.
"Thank God. He's doing very well. He's growing and I'm very happy about it. I come to see him every day. I get him dressed, I give him baths, I change him, I hold him," she said.
Upon her death, Karla's organs were donated, which saved the lives of three other individuals.
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