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Doctors Keep Twins Alive in Brain-Dead Mother's Womb for 123 Days

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Welcoming a new baby into the world is a day of anticipated celebration. But for one family, that joy came with heart-breaking sadness.

Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, 21, from Brazil was nine weeks pregnant with twins when tragedy struck.

It’s unclear as to how or why, but she suffered a stroke that left her brain dead.

At such a young age, the mother of one, with new life on the way, would never see her twins.



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The doctors warned her husband, Muriel, that there was little that they could do. They believed that the twins would eventually not be able to survive the trauma and would also die.

But as the doctors began to check on the tiny lives, they received a big surprise.

“We did an ultrasound on the embryos thinking they would be failing in the womb but to our surprise they were clinging to life,” said Dr. Dalton Rivabem.

It was a miracle that Muriel had hoped for. Because his wife’s organs were still functioning, keeping the babies alive, the doctors made the decision to keep her on life support, in hopes of saving the twins.

The doctors knew that it would take more to keep these babies healthy, while continuing to grow and develop. It would take a mother’s love.



They got to work decorating the space with photos of Padilha, wanting the twins to see their mother’s face all around them.

They sang songs and spoke to the babies while they remained in the womb. Their little hearts continued to beat and their bodies continued to grow.

All of the love and support continued for 123 days. It was the longest time that a pregnant woman had been on life support.

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The miracle babies, who doctors thought did not have a chance, were born healthy.

“I’m so proud of my daughter,” said Padilha’s mother, Silva. “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.”

Little Ana and Asaph will never know their mother.

But what they will know, some day, is that she was a fighter, a warrior who, against all odds, lived long enough to give them a chance to fight.

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