Amanda da Silva has suffered from epilepsy since she was a child. For years, she has been on medication to help keep her seizures at bay, but when she got pregnant with her third child, doctors advised her to go off her medication because it could pose a risk to the baby.
For most of the pregnancy, everything seemed to be going fine. She suffered more seizures than normal, but she and the baby were both healthy and safe.
Then, when Amanda was 37 weeks pregnant, she suffered an acute seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors worked fast, worried the seizure might take both Amanda and her baby’s lives.
Baby Victor was delivered via C-section. At only 4.6 pounds, he was taken to intensive care where he would receive the treatment he needed.
Meanwhile, Amanda suffered further complications and was placed under a medically-induced coma for her safety.
As the days went by, though, Amanda showed no signs of improvement. Although she was eventually able to open her eyes, she was unable to communicate or move.
For 23 days, Amanda lay in bed. Doctors didn’t know if she would ever wake up.
“The exams showed brain activity,” said obstetrician Carlos Alencar. “But the areas of activity weren’t responding to anything specific, not even to the voices of relatives. She didn’t move her arms, legs, or anything.”
Running out of ideas, one nurse, Fabíola Sá, had a sudden inspiration for a last-ditch effort to save Amanda. She suggested placing baby Victor on his mother’s chest.
The doctors brought Victor into Amanda’s hospital room and gently placed him on top of his mother. It was the first time mother and son had been together since his birth.
As the medical team watched, something happened that left them all stunned.
As soon as Victor was placed on her chest, Amanda’s heart rate sped up, tears streamed down her face, and she cried out!
“As soon as Amanda felt the touch of the baby’s skin on hers, tears started pouring down her cheeks,” Fabíola said.
“It was a cry of love. More than that it was a cry that said: ‘I’m still here, I’m alive, I want to live.’”
After holding Victor, Amanda’s condition began to quickly improve. Just three weeks later, she and Victor were able to go home together.
Doctors still aren’t able to explain what happened in Amanda’s hospital room that day. All they know is that they witnessed a miracle.
“After 23 days in a coma, her reaction was inexplicable,” Fabíola said. “We never expected such a quick change, and everyone on the medical team wept with happiness and relief.”
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