Doctors stop medicating Argentine “miracle” baby

Originally published in CNN

Doctors have withdrawn medications and begun palliative care for a premature baby who survived hours in a morgue refrigerator in Argentina, state media reported.

The baby’s survival grabbed global headlines last month and prompted her parents to give her a new name: Luz Milagros, the Spanish words for light and miracles.

But medical tests have determined that only 10% of 2-month-old Luz Milagros Veron’s brain is functioning, her mother told reporters.

“Doctors say that she will not be a complete child. They decided to stop medicating her so that she doesn’t suffer anymore,” mother Analia Bouguet said, according to Argentina’s state-run Telam news agency.

Pronounced dead after her premature birth on April 3, the baby withstood more than 10 hours in a coffin inside a morgue refrigerator before being found alive.

This week, Bouguet said that her family was keeping its faith that the baby would survive and that her brain would heal.

“She came out of death, she came out of a drawer and she is in another fight from which she is going to come out again,” she said, according to Telam.

Doctors decided not to perform surgery and to withdraw medications, but would keep the baby hydrated and on a ventilator, Telam reported.

The baby was flown to Buenos Aires for neurological testing earlier this week. Before she was transported, doctors said she had suffered health complications after having seizures.

Every, doctor, nurse and morgue worker who dealt with the baby at the hospital in northern Argentina where she was born has been suspended while authorities investigate, officials have said.

In April, the hospital’s director said proper protocol had been followed.

The baby had no vital signs when she was born, hospital director Dr. Jose Luis Meirino said.

The gynecologist on hand didn’t find any signs of life, so he passed the baby to a neonatal doctor who also didn’t find vital signs, Meirino said.

The doctors observed the baby for a while, and only then pronounced her dead.

Two morgue workers then put her body inside a little wooden coffin and placed it in the morgue.

“Up to that point, there were still no vital signs,” the hospital director said.

That night, Bouguet insisted on seeing her daughter’s body.

“They put the coffin on top of a stretcher and we looked for a little crowbar to open it because it was nailed shut,” father Fabian Veron told a local television station in April. “It was nailed shut. I put the crowbar in there and started prying. I took a breath and took the lid off.”

Bouguet approached the baby’s body, touched her hand, and heard a cry, Veron said.

Standing in front of a Buenos Aires hospital Wednesday, Bouguet asked for prayers for her daughter.

“She demonstrated that she is strong and for some reason God has kept her alive until now,” she said, according to Telam. “Everything that happened cannot be in vain.”

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