Brain-dead woman gives birth to twins after body kept alive for a month
A pregnant woman who was declared dead after suffering a brain aneurysm has given birth to twins after her body was kept alive for a month on a respirator.
Christine Bolden collapsed on March 1 while walking in Michigan, Detroit, with her boyfriend and three-year-old son.
Five days later she was pronounced brain-dead by doctors and an obituary for the 26-year-old lists her date of death as March 6.
But almost a month later she has given birth to twins after being kept on life support in order to save her unborn children.
Miss Bolden, who also has an 11-year-old son, gave birth to Nicholas and Alexander – names she had chosen before her collapse – on April 5 after a 25-week pregnancy.
Her life support was turned off shortly afterwards.
Miss Bolden's aunt, Danyell Bolden said that after learning of Christine's condition, they prayed for the children to survive.
"We used to rub on her belly and talk to the babies," she said. "It was an impossible mix of emotions.
"Knowing that once the babies were born that was the end of her.
"It was hard knowing that the babies would be born and she wasn't coming home afterwards. God, he could have took her and the boys. But he left the boys. That's a miracle."
The children are being kept in isolation as they are premature. They weigh less than two pounds and are only about six inches long.
Dr Cosmas Vandeven, who specialises in high-risk pregnancies at University of Michigan hospital, said Bolden's case is a "very exceptional scenario."
"Almost every parent would give their life for their child," Dr Vandeven said. "But you need to get truly independent opinions: Are we sure we're not causing harm to the mum?"
He said 70pc of babies born at 25 weeks survive, but the risk for long-term health problems is high.
"We certainly hope they make it, but at this time they're too young to make a confident prognosis," he added.
There have been instances of women on life support giving birth to children previously.
In 2007 Stacy Rojas, a 34-year-old teacher from Dallas gave birth to a healthy baby girl after falling into a coma after a brain aneurysm. Her life support machine was switched off two days after the birth, having kept her body alive for a month.