A mother gave birth to twins 123 days after she was declared brain dead and was kept alive on life support for months, marking what some doctors believe is the longest period in medical history.
Zampoli Padilha, 21, of Contenda, Brazil, was pregnant with twins when she complained of a pain in her head and neck in October. She lost consciousness before reaching the hospital and was later diagnosed with severe bleeding in the brain.
"They told me they would give the babies three more days of life," Padilha's husband, Muriel Padilha, told Caters News via Inside Edition. "They said as soon as their little hearts stopped beating, they would turn off the gadgets and I would be able to bury my wife."
Doctors expected the babies to pass quickly, but their organs continued to function. So doctors decided to keep Zampoli alive on life support to save her children, who continued to grow normally inside her womb.
"We decorated the area around Frankielen's bed," said Erika Chechan, the hospital's chaplain. "The ICU was filled with love, affection and encouragement for the babies and their family to succeed. We said, 'we love you' every day they were here."
The twins, Ana Vitoria and Asaph, were born in February and were discharged in May after being watched in incubators. They will join 2-year-old sister Isa Beatriz.
"I'm so proud of my daughter," said Zampoli's mother, Angela 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."