After a pregnant woman arrived at a hospital in Hungary with a cerebral hemorrhage, doctors performed an emergency intracranial surgery to try to save the life of the 31-year-old and her unborn child. Two days passed, and the woman was declared brain-dead. But, it's what happened next that's astonishing.
The woman's family and doctors had to make a choice: Should they keep the mother on life support so the 15-week-old fetus would have a shot at life? The answer was yes, and three months later the baby boy was born to a brain-dead mother at 27 weeks.
Delivered prematurely via cesarean section in July, the baby boy weighed in at 3 pounds, 2 ounces. Physicians at University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center announced the unique birth Wednesday and said the infant is healthy and home with his family, the Agence France-Presse reports.
The mother was kept on life support for two additional days after the birth, so her major organs could be harvested and transplanted into four other people.
While the baby is not the first to be born to a brain-dead mother, the case is remarkable for the amount of time the fetus spent in his mother's womb -- when she was technically considered dead -- before delivery. However, it's not entirely unprecedented.
In 2005, a Virginia woman, who was declared brain-dead when she was 15 weeks pregnant, was also kept on life support for three months. A baby girl was born to the brain-dead mother at 1 pound, 13 ounces, though the infant did not survive past six weeks.