Consternation in the medical world: a Brazilian mother was in a coma for 23 days but woke up just when she had her baby placed in her arms for the first time. Pure coincidence or can body contact with your child really have such a beneficial effect? The case will now be further investigated.
Amanda da Silva (28) had an epileptic seizure when she was 37 weeks pregnant. In her own words she had a serious argument with her husband just before.
The lives of both mother and child were at risk because of a lack of oxygen in both the brain and the womb. That’s why the doctors decided at the hospital in Fortaleza to sedate the woman, her son, Victor was then born with a Caesarean section.
However, complications arose, so Amanda had to be kept in an artificial coma. For 23 days she would no longer give any sign of consciousness. Until one of the nurses came up with the idea to bring in her son.
Tears suddenly ran down her cheeks, her heart started to beat faster and the production of breast milk started. Twenty days after Amanda awoke from her coma, she was able to go home with Victor.
“No scientific answer”
“We do not have a scientific answer for this. But it is clear that we should never underestimate the importance of body contact between mother and child”, says Fabíola Sa. She was the nurse with the ingenious idea. “The reaction came immediately as soon as she felt the contact. We did not expect that as a medical team, we had to cry ourselves.”
Amanda does not remember that she ever gave birth. “I woke up with Victor in my arms. I saw his little head and smelled his fine smell. I was totally confused, I had to ask my partner if it was our child. Only when I put my hand on my stomach did I realize that I was no longer pregnant.”
“She did not react as desired”
Victor was born with a weak immune system and breathing problems, a result of all pills that Amanda had been taking against epilepsy since she was seven years old. After she knew that a child was coming, she only took one drug. As a result, she got to deal with more attacks herself.
The woman had already managed to open her eyes during her coma, but every attempt at communication failed. “After a week we started to reduce the dose, but she did not react as desired,” says obstetrician Carlos Alencar. “At the neurological level everything was fine, that being the test. We applied pain stimuli, without result. There was brain activity, but she did not react to it. Not even on the voices of acquaintances. There was no movement in her arms and legs.”
And then Fabíola suddenly put her son in her arms. “Those tears on her face were a cry for love. A clear sign that she wanted to live”, concludes the nurse.