The recent birth of Brazilian twins is being hailed a “miracle” by doctors who feared there was no chance of saving the unborn children after their mother suffered a stroke last October that left her brain dead.
At nine weeks pregnant, Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, 21, frantically called her husband one morning last fall, complaining of a severe pains in her head and neck. While her husband, Muriel Padilha, initially brushed it off as a headache, the woman insisted that something was seriously wrong.
Muriel returned home from work to drive his wife to the hospital. On their way there, Frankielen passed out. She never regained consciousness.
In her final moments awake, Muriel recalls his wife telling him to “be prepared to accept this” because “I won’t be coming home.”
Doctors diagnosed Padilha with a cerebral hemorrhage and said there was no chance of recovery. Even more tragic, it was believed the twins she was carrying had no hope of surviving either due to the litany of tests and drugs that had been administered. Even so, the medical team chose to wait a few days for conditions to normalize before removing the woman from the ventilator.
“We did an ultrasound on the embryos thinking they would be failing in the womb,” said Dr. Dalton Rivabem, head of neurological ICU at Nosso Senhora do Rocio hospital, where Padilha was being treated. “But to our surprise they were clinging to life.”
“Frankielen’s organs were all intact and working as if she was still with us,” he continued. “We took the decision to keep her alive to save her unborn children. And every day we watched them grow normally.”
Padilha’s doctors sought advice from healthcare professionals in other countries, who had cared for women and unborn children in similar circumstances, but this particular case ultimately made history.
“There have been other cases, but ours is the longest one with 123 days—four months, and we started with embryos at two months and delivered twins,” Rivabem said. “One of our main concerns was to keep the organ functions continual for the babies to grow and develop.”
According to the Daily Mail, the doctors, nurses, and support staff in the ICU kept Padilha’s room filled with soothing lights, sounds, and energy. The hospital’s chaplain and music therapist described the area around Padilha as “decorated” and “filled with love,” as children’s songs played and well wishes poured in from around the globe. People sent messages of support, donated clothing and supplies, and offered monetary contributions. Muriel Padilha, who was already caring for the couple’s two-year-old daughter Isa Beatriz, is said to be using the funds to renovate his growing family’s home.
Though the twins were born prematurely in February, Ana Victoria and her brother Asaph were considered to be a normal weight and height compared to other premies of the same age. The infants were kept in incubators for the first three months of their lives, with Padilha’s mother, Angela Silva, spending her days in the hospital so her son-in-law could return to work.
“I’m so proud of my daughter,” Silva said. “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, meanwhile, admitted to “despairing and crying out for God” in the aftermath of his wife’s death, but said he found comfort when she appeared to him on several occasions before the twins were born.
“One night she sat on my bed and said: ‘Baby I can’t come back to you anymore. I must stay. I am in a beautiful place now. You’ve got a big mission still to complete. You have to look after our children and you have to be strong and move on and live your life,’” he explained. “Frankielen was a generous and loving person. I believe God chose her for this purpose so a miracle could happen.”
While expert care was paramount to the twins’ survival, Padilha’s doctors admit the miraculous deliveries wouldn’t have been possible without God.
“The success of this case was down to great teamwork,” Rivabem concluded,“and, of course, to a divine purpose.”
(H/T: Daily Mail)