21-year-old Brazilian Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padila was declared brain dead in October 2016 but she was kept on life support until February in hopes of delivering her twins. According to doctors, this may have been the longest time a pregnant woman has been kept alive on life support to ensure the safety of her offspring.
Fankielen’s husband, Muriel Padilha, 24, is devastated over the loss of his wife and yet joyful at the survival of their children. The twins, Asaph and Anna Vitoria, were born via c-section in February but were kept in the hospital until May.
Back in October, Muriel had received a call from his wife begging him to come home after falling ill. She reportedly said that her head was killing her. “I told her to take a tablet but she said there was a sharp pain in the back of her neck,” Muriel explains. “It was so strong she felt she was going to collapse.”
Muriel rushed home to find Frankielen shaking, crying and vomiting from the pain. He drove her to the hospital and remembers her final words being, “I want you to be prepared to accept this because I will be staying here, I won’t be coming home.” After those words, she passed out and never opened her eyes again.
Frankielen was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage, a type of stroke caused by a burst artery in the brain. Three days later, Frankielen was declared brain dead and the twins’ chance at life looked grim. Doctors decided to put Frankielen on life support in an effort to save the twins once they detected their heart beats.
While keeping Frankielen alive, medical staff did their best to replicate a normal pregnancy by rubbing Frankielen’s belly, playing music, and talking to them. Ana Vitoria was born weighing 3lbs and 1oz while her brother Asaph came in at 2lbs and 13oz. Their health is similar to other premature babies their age.
To avoid the risk of infection and to build up their strength, the twins were kept in incubators. Frankielen’s ventilator was switched off in February after Asaph and Anna’s delivery and her heart and kidneys were donated to save two other lives. The twins and their two-year-old big sister are now being looking after by their maternal grandmother, Angela Silva, while Muriel returns to work.
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