An amniotic fluid embolism is a rare and easily fatal complication following childbirth that occurs when amniotic fluid enters the mother's bloodstream. When a 40-year-old Florida woman suffered from one after a routine cesarean section in late September, medical staff caught it in time to perform CPR. After 45 minutes taking turns doing chest compressions to manually keep her heart beating and shocking her intermittently to try to jump-start her pulse, they were ready to pronounce the time of death and called in the woman's distraught family. Then, just as they stopped all life-saving procedures and turned to the heart monitor, Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro's heart started beating on its own, reports the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
"She essentially spontaneously resuscitated when we were about to call the time of death," the hospital spokesman tells the AP. What's more, he adds, "Today she is the picture of health," without any detectable brain damage. In fact, both she and her healthy daughter were sent home from the hospital a few days later. "I don't know why I was given this opportunity," Graupera-Cassimiro says, according to the Washington Post, "but I'm very grateful for it." According to CBS 12, Staff are calling it the hospital's "second miracle." The first was the building of the hospital itself, which was a grass-roots effort—sparked by the tragic deaths of two children—to raise money to build the city's first hospital back when Boca Raton was home to just 10,000 people. (See how a "miracle" baby recently helped save her mom's life.)