Healthbeat

Expecting mom Erica Nigrelli dies, gives birth, then is revived

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Even when everything goes right, the birth of a child seems nothing short of a miracle.

But what this new mom and her infant daughter went through is truly amazing.

Erica Nigrelli technically died, gave birth, and was then brought back to life.

Three-month-old baby Elayna now weighs a whopping 9 pounds.

She's growing and thriving and could be off oxygen as early as next week.

"She's just a baby, a normal baby," said Nigrelli.

Considering how Elayna came into this world, normal is a word that seems like an understatement.

Her mom, Erica Nigrelli- an English teacher in Missouri City, Texas- collapsed in a co-worker's classroom when she was 36 weeks pregnant.

"Apparently I told her I feel very faint and I put my head down and I essentially just passed out," said Nigrelli.

Her husband also teaches at the school.

"I opened the door and walked in and Erica was laying on the floor," said Erica Nigrelli's husband.

Nigrelli's heart had stopped.

Co-workers started CPR and used a defibrillator to get it working again.

They kept her alive until paramedics came and rushed her to the hospital.

Doctors delivered baby Elayna by emergency c-section.

It was technically a post mortem delivery because Erica's heart wasn't beating.

"There were two lives that were hanging in the balance the whole time."

Turns out, Erica had an undetected heart defect.

The fact mom and baby are here today is a testament to her co-workers.

They were honored this week at a city council meeting.

"Thankful is not even- is not a strong enough word for what they've done for us," said Erica Nigrelli.

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