When she discovered she was pregnant with her first child, she was overjoyed to give birth to a baby girl, Genesis. Perez's mother, Berta Jimenez, said Perez was equally excited when she found out she was pregnant with her second child. She named her unborn son, Angel. Genesis and Angel were Perez's life.
A devastating turn of events unfolded after the 22-year-old mother was taken to the hospital after vomiting from pain in her head. Doctors discovered a massive brain bleed from a stroke the young mother experienced.
Medical staff proclaimed Perez completely brain-dead. But despite the stroke and lack of brain activity, the fetus of her unborn son was perfectly healthy.
Jimenez and other family members were shocked and carefully considered what Perez would have wanted for herself and her child. "She didn't look like she was gone, but she was," said Perez's doctor. "Her parents had to face this difficult decision of what to do."
They decided to keep Perez on life support to allow Angel the growth he needed to be born. The family gathered around Perez's hospital bed to see the miracle ultrasounds of baby Angel moving. Perez's parents rarely left her bedside.
Baby Delivered by Brain-Dead Mother on Life Support for 54 Days Leaves Hospital.
The baby who was born to a brain-dead...
Perez made history as she stayed on life support for the next 54 days to allow her son safe development before delivery.
"Our team took a giant leap of faith," said the vice president from Methodist Women's Hospital where Perez was being kept alive. "We were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do."
Only 33 worldwide similar cases have been reported in medical literature since 1982.
Angel is fastly approaching two years old. His grandma says he looks just like his mama.
Perez lost her life, but the history she made and the legacy she left behind was remarkable. Her son is alive and healthy, and she saved four other lives the day she lost her own life. Her family and friends continually miss her but believe she is resting in peace.
Kristina Tieken is a staff writer for FamilyShare, public relations specialist with a love for the fine arts, food and exercise. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and family.