Dead Texas Woman Gives Birth: How Erica Nigrelli Died, Gave Birth And Came Back To Life [VIDEO]
A woman who was technically dead gave birth to a baby girl -- and then came back to life.
In February, Erica Nigrelli, 32, a teacher in Missouri City, Texas, walked into a fellow teacher's classroom and said she didn't feel well. When Nigrelli fainted, her husband, Nathan, also a teacher at the high school, ran over to the room.
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"Erica was lying on the floor, she was foaming and making gurgling sounds and just staring up," said Nathan Nigrelli.
Nathan called 911 and said, "My wife is having a seizure. She's on the floor. Oh my God! She's pregnant and she's foaming, unresponsive."
Erica Nigrelli's heart had stopped. Her coworkers administered CPR and used a defibrillator, managing to keep Nigrelli alive until she arrived at the hospital.
Nigrelli underwent an emergency C-section to remove her baby, Elayna, one month shy of when she was supposed to be delivered.
Since Nigrelli's heart was not beating when she gave birth to Elayna, it was considered a post-mortem delivery.
After giving birth, Nigrelli's heart suddenly started beating again. She remained in a medically induced coma for the next five days, and was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
People with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy experience a thickening of the heart muscles, with no obvious cause, which makes it difficult for blood to leave the heart. As a result, the heart has to work much harder to pump blood. The strain can lead to sudden cardiac death.
"Nine times out of ten most people die from the initial collapse," said Nigrelli. "It was literally a ticking time bomb, it just happened when I was 36 weeks pregnant."
Elayna, now three months old and nine pounds, is on oxygen, but will be taken off of it soon. Otherwise she's a healthy baby and will be taken off oxygen as soon as next week.
Erica and Nathan Nigrelli joked with CNN that if Elayna ever acts up, they have the perfect way of keeping her in line: by reminding her what they went through in giving birth to her.
"I have got, like, the best ammunition for the rest of her life," Erica Nigrelli laughed. "She can never do anything wrong."
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