NRL News

Michigan mother gives birth to premature twins one month after being declared brain dead

by | Apr 25, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Christine Bolden

The family of 26-year-old Christine Bolden is grieving her untimely death but enormously grateful that her twin boys were born April 5, one month after Bolden was declared brain-dead.

Ms. Bolden collapsed in a parking lot as the result of aneurysms on March 1 and was declared brain dead five days later at Spectrum Health, the hospital next door.

Newspaper accounts paint a picture of a family shocked by the unexpected tragedy but determined to save the babies. “Bolden’s family asked doctors ‘to drop everything we could to save these babies. It wasn’t that difficult a call,’ “ spokesman Bruce Rossman told the Associated Press.  Ms. Bolden carried Nicholas and Alexander while on life support, until their birth by cesarean section.

Each weighed considerably less than two pounds at birth: Nicholas weighed  1 pound, 9 ounces at birth; his brother, Alexander, weighed in at 1 pound, 4 ounces. They remain on ventilators at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The family said that the babies were delivered at 25 weeks after Bolden developed a dangerously high blood pressure. According to the AP, in 2010, “German researchers found just 30 similar cases worldwide dating back to 1982.”

Ms. Bolden had two other children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. “Relatives said it was heartbreaking to see her die, but a relief to see the twins survive,” according to the AP’s Ed White.

“’Every week was a good sign,’ said an aunt, Danyell Bolden, referring to March when her niece was being sustained by machines. ‘We felt like we lost her but, God willing, we’ll have something of hers. There’s a lot of prayer.’”

Vance Terrell, her brother, recalled the phone call from his sister announcing that she was having twins. He told the AP

“She said, ‘You’re going be there for your nephews when I have them.’ I just went crazy,” Terrell said of his excitement. “I know she wants the babies to be with us. This has brought our family together.”

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