Life is short and our health is fragile. Tragedies can come at the most unexpected of times, but sometimes they can also bring a miracle.
In October of 2016, a 21-year-old mother named Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha died as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage. At the time, she was 9 weeks pregnant with twins.
Her husband, Muriel Padilha, received a phone call from Frankielen while he was on his way to work. She begged him to return home, saying that her head hurt very badly and she thought she may collapse. When he arrived, she was on the floor shaking, crying, and vomiting from the pain.
Frankielen seemed to know that death was coming.
Muriel describes the events to the New York Post, saying:
“As I drove her to the hospital she said, ‘I want you to be prepared to accept this because I will be staying there. I won’t be coming home.’ Those were the last words she spoke to me and the last time I saw her alive.”
When the high school sweethearts arrived at the hospital, Frankielen was diagnosed with a cerebral hemorrhage and was experiencing severe bleeding of the brain.
After 3 days of testing, Muriel was informed that his wife was brain-dead and that there was very little hope for their two twins.
He explains to Daily Mail, “They told me they would give the babies 3 more days of life because they had given my wife multiple CT scans, sedated her with powerful drugs, and pumped her full of antibiotics, and this meant everything had ended up in our babies.
The doctors decided that when the twins’ passed, they would turn off the medical equipment that was keeping Frankielen alive.
But, to everyone’s shock and surprise, their hearts did not stop beating.
With this news, doctors decided to change their plan of action. Now, they would do their very best to keep Frankielen alive until they could deliver her babies.
Dr. Rivabem, the head of the Neurological ICU at Nosso Senhora do Rocio hospital, explains:
“One of our main concerns was to keep the organ functions continual for the babies to grow and develop.”
But, they also considered the babies’ development.
Staff on call would come in to rub Frankielen’s belly and sing songs to the growing fetuses, ultimately providing the love and nurturing that Frankielen no longer could.
In the end, the doctors succeed at saving the babies, delivering them at 7 months of gestation.
This is the longest that a woman has been kept alive in order to deliver her babies, but the case is a landmark moment for other reasons, as well.
Dr. Rivabem elaborates, “There have been other cases [like this], but ours is the longest with 123 days— 4 months, and we started with embryos at 2 months and delivered twins.”
The twins were born weighing normal amounts for premature babies, with Ana Vitoria coming in at 3 pounds and brother Asaph at 2.8 pounds.
Following their birth, the family received a ton of support in the form of cash, toys, and baby clothing. Nowadays, the twins are being cared for by Frankielen’s mother while Muriel goes to work.
Frankielen’s mother tells the New York Post, “It’s been hard losing her but she was a warrior right until the end, protecting her beautiful children and giving them life until the day she finally died.”
Muriel adds,”Frankielen was a generous and loving person. I believe God chose her for this purpose so a miracle could happen.”
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