NRL News

Funeral director shocked to find preemie declared ‘stillborn’ was still alive

by | Jan 5, 2022

By Nancy Flanders  

A premature baby born at home and later declared stillborn was shockingly discovered to be alive hours later by the funeral director.

According to the Mirror, an 18-year-old woman in Brazil went to the hospital on December 27 in severe pain. She was unaware that she was about five months pregnant, and doctors at the hospital failed to check to see if she was pregnant. They sent her home, and she returned a second time due to continued and increasing severe pain. Again, doctors sent her home, where she gave birth to a baby without any medical assistance.

She brought the baby to the hospital, where doctors declared the two-pound, three-ounce newborn to be stillborn. Hospital staff called a funeral director to take the baby’s body to prepare for burial. He arrived at the hospital at three in the morning on December 28, and a few hours later, was preparing the baby for the funeral when he noticed the baby sigh. Upon closer look, the baby’s heart was beating.

The funeral director immediately returned to the hospital with the baby, and the premature infant was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Both the funeral director and the family filed a police report and an investigation is ongoing. It is unclear what condition the baby is in at this time.

This is not the first time a premature baby has been declared dead and later found to be alive. In October 2020, a premature baby born at 23 weeks in Mexico was declared dead and was taken to the morgue. About six hours later, he was discovered crying and moving in the morgue refrigerator. Sadly, baby Jesús Sebastian died four days later.

In 2012, a baby girl born prematurely at 26 weeks in Argentina was declared stillborn, but after her parents were told they could see her in the morgue, they discovered she was alive — 12 hours after her birth. They named her Tiny Luz Milagros, or “Miracle Light.” 

The baby girl suffered sepsis and neurological issues after her time in the morgue and sadly died shortly after her first birthday from “multiorgan failure and disseminated intravascular coagulation, which then led to shock,” explained Leonardo Carina, the local secretary of health.

Though many hospitals and doctors refuse to provide care for premature babies born before a predetermined gestational age — such as 24 weeks in some hospitals in the United States — babies born as young as 21 weeks have survived and thrived with proper and immediate medical care. A map of hospitals able and willing to care for such premature babies can be found here.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.