Christine Bolden of Muskegon, Michigan suffered two brain aneurysms on March 6. She collapsed, and was later pronounced brain dead. But a month later, she gave birth to twin boys Alexander and Nicholas.
When Bolden, 26, collapsed outside of a building last month, friends and family members were shocked to learn that she had likely been born with the two aneurysms. She had shown no symptoms of them until that point.
I guess she had a pain in her head, said Christine's aunt Danielle Bolden to local news channel KSN. We didn't think it was as bad as it was.
After the aneurysms burst and Bolden was rendered comatose and declared permanently brain dead, doctors put her on life support in an effort to preserve the two lives inside of her.
For over a month, family members visited Bolden in the hospital and wished for her recovery. We used to rub on her belly and talk to the babies, said Christine's mother Danielle Bolden. They remembered Christine as a funny and vivacious woman, and hoped against hope that she might yet wake from her coma.
But Christine Bolden would never recover. After several weeks on a respirator, her blood pressure rose to hazardous levels. Doctors knew it was time to make their attempt to save the lives of Alexander Nicholas. The unborn babies were dangerously premature, at 25 weeks.
At Helen DeVos hospital, where the babies were delivered on April 5, health care professionals had to strike a delicate balance. Waiting to deliver the twins became increasingly dangerous as Bolden's health declined, but a premature delivery would have put the brothers' lives at risk. It required a lot of evaluations and discussions among our staff, said hospital spokesman Bruce Rossman to AP.
The babies were born by cesarean section. Christine's grandmother told them not to numb her because maybe when they cut her for the C-section she would have felt that, and woke up saying, 'Wait a minute I can feel that! What is you all doing to me!' But it didn't happen, said Danielle Bolden.
Instead, family and friends had to say goodbye to Christine Bolden at the same time they welcomed her two sons into the world. Danielle Bolden recalls the angst she felt as the babies were being rushed to intensive care. Once they were born and they wheeled them past us, everybody was anxious looking, she said to MLive. It was hard. It was hard knowing that the babies would be born and she wasn't coming home afterwards.
Christine Bolden's organs have been donated.
Alexander and Nicholas are on ventilators in a neonatal intensive care unit, where they remain in fragile condition. Doctors hope they'll have the strength to pull through. We certainly hope they make it, but at this time they're too young to make a confident prognosis, said Rossman. Children born this early will be at high risk for chronic conditions. It's too soon to tell.
Both babies were below two pounds at birth, and each was only about six inches long. Christine Bolden's family is grateful the boys are alive. God, he could have took her and the boys, said Danielle Bolden. But he left the boys. That's a miracle.
Fortin is the IBTimes Africa Correspondent based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She joined IBT in February of 2012, and has previously worked as an editor and reporter for...