Karla Perez was just 22 weeks pregnant when she collapsed at her home in Omaha, Nebraska after complaining about a severe headache. She was later pronounced brain dead. The family immediately became concerned for the well-being of her unborn baby, who she had planned to name Angel, and urged doctors to do whatever possible to help him.
Doctors in Nebraska prolonged the life of a brain dead woman for 54 days so she could deliver a baby boy named Angel.
Karla Perez, 22, died two days after the delivery, the Washington Post reported late Friday. Angel weighed just 2 pounds, 12.6 ounces at birth.
The last time a brain-dead woman in the U.S. delivered a baby was 1999, the paper said. Baby Angel was delivered earlier this month at Methodist Health System in Omaha.
The hospital said a team of more than 100 doctors, nurses and staff kept Angel's 22-year-old mother Karla Perez alive for 54 days -- just long enough to deliver the baby via cesarean section.
"Our team took a giant leap of faith," Sue Korth, vice president and COO of Methodist Women's Hospital, said in a statement Thursday announcing the successful procedure. "We were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do."
Perez collapsed in her home in Waterloo, Nebraska, on Feb. 8 after complaining of severe headaches. Doctors later determined she had suffered a brain bleed.