A child is born to a mother who was declared brain-dead
A child was born in 55 days after the death of its mother. Doctors declared the woman - brain dead, but she was kept alive in this hospital in Poland till the birth of her child.
The 41-year-old woman had a brain tumor. Doctors say she didn't want to be operated on. She was afraid of the risks. She was brought to the clinic in Wroclaw in November unconscious with no brain activity. Doctors found out that the she was 17 weeks pregnant when they heard the baby's heartbeat. The medics decided to save the child. So they had to extend the woman's life for at least two months.
Andrzej Kubler, Head of Anesthesiology Department, Wroclaw University Hospital: "She actually died, because the brain was dead, but her heart was beating. Usually we can support the person alive for a couple of hours in order to take the organs for people who need them. But a child was still alive, so we changed our tactics."
Anesthesiologists, neonatologists, gynecologists and neurosurgeons were working as one team to save the baby's life. Every day they had to fight the infections and disorders in the mother's body
Andrzej Kubler, Head of Anesthesiology Department, Wroclaw's University Hospital: "Every day we came to the clinic with a question - what awaits us today?"
Neonatologists said that we have to support the mother until 30 weeks of pregnancy. But it's too long for the brain-dead body, because the organism can have a lot of disorders. The woman's pressure fell, then increased, the functions of many organs changed.
Gynecologists set the goal to prolong the mother's life to at least 25 weeks of pregnancy. This is a minimum for the fetus to grow until it can be born and get a chance to live.
Mariusz Zimmer, Gynecology clinic director, Wroclaw University Hospital: "Day after day, week after week we observed as the baby was growing. And after 25 weeks we gathered to decide what we have to do next. We concluded to prolong pregnancy as much as possible. When the 26th week of term came I got a call from the hospital at night and I was told that the woman's body is too weak and we can't wait more."
After Cesarean section Wojtek was born. The boy weighed only 1 kilogram. His dad patiently waited for the birth for 55 days reading him fairy tales.
Justyna Wielontek, Neonatology department coordinator, Wroclaw's University Hospital: "Dad dedicated himself to the baby. He replaced him mom. Since the mother could not take care about her prematurely born baby the he did."
A little boy was put in intensive care and spent three months in an incubator.
Barbara Krolal-Olejnik, Head of neonatology clinic, Wroclaw's University Hospital: "The hardest thing was to teach the boy to breathe independently. He was very active and sometimes he seemed to be ready to be switched off of breathing apparatus. But there were many failures. This battle had lasted for almost two months until the child was able to breathe on his own."
A few days ago a boy and his dad were discharged from the hospital and they are finally at home. Now Wojtek weighs 3 kilograms and he is doing well. Each of the 145 days that his father spent in the hospital was very hard for him. He doesn't want to share this unique story with strangers. He is busy taking care of his small miracle.
Margaryta Sytnik, Igor Antoniuk from Wroclaw for Ukraine Today.