Brain-Dead Woman's Fetus Reaches Milestone

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Bro. Curtis, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A brain-dead pregnant woman on life support has reached the milestone in her pregnancy where doctors believe the baby could realistically survive outside the womb, giving her family renewed hope about the devastating ordeal.

    Susan Torres, 26, 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.

    Her fetus recently passed the 24th week of development - the earliest point at which doctors felt the baby would have a reasonable chance to survive, her brother-in-law said.

    "The situation is pretty stable," said Justin Torres, who is serving as the family's spokesman. "Susan, we have said from the beginning, is the toughest person in that ICU room." ....


    ....Jason Torres spends every night sleeping in a reclining chair next to his wife's bed at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, about 100 miles north of Richmond. The hospital has declined to comment on the case.....

    ....If possible, the doctors hope to hold off on delivering the child until 32 weeks' gestation, Justin Torres said. A full-term pregnancy is about 40 weeks.

    The melanoma has spread to her lymph nodes and taken over her vital organs, but they continue to function. There is a chance the cancer could spread to the placenta, but so far it has been spared, Justin Torres said. Extra precautions, including limiting the number of visitors, have recently been taken to help her avoid infections....

    ...Since 1979, there have been at least a dozen similar cases published in English medical literature, said Dr. Winston Campbell, director of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center, which conducted research on the topic....
     
  2. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- A brain-dead pregnant woman who has been kept on life support for nearly three months to give her fetus more time to develop gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday, 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 one pound 13 ounces and is 13 1/2 inches long, he said.

    The infant was delivered 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....

    ..."The entire staff and administration of Virginia Hospital Center, 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.....

    ...Since 1979, there have been at least a dozen similar cases published in English medical literature, said Dr. Winston Campbell, director of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center, which conducted research on the topic.
     

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