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'Extraordinary Case' Leads to Record-Setting Pregnancy

Healthy baby girl born in Czech Republic to brain-dead mom who'd suffered stroke 117 days earlier
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2019 7:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – For nearly four months, Czech medical staff kept a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support, touching her stomach, moving her legs to simulate walking, and talking to her unborn child. On Aug. 15, the fruit of their efforts was born: a healthy baby girl, weighing 4 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 16.5 inches in length, per Reuters. The 27-year-old mother had been brought unconscious to the hospital in April after suffering a severe stroke, but because the woman had been in otherwise good health, doctors determined the fetus could keep developing inside her, Inside Edition reports.

That's when they set to work to keep the fetus alive, and the 117 days they tended to the pregnant woman and her unborn child is believed to be a record for the longest artificially sustained pregnancy in a brain-dead mother. The baby was delivered via C-section in her 34th week of gestation. After the birth, the mother, with her husband and other family around her, was taken off life support and died. CNA reports the newborn's aunt, who recently had a baby herself, is breastfeeding her new niece. "This has really been an extraordinary case when the whole family stood together," the head obstetrician at Brno's University Hospital tells Reuters. "Without their support and their interest, it would never have finished this way." (Read more Czech Republic stories.)

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