A North Carolina mother, Shelly Cawley, who fell into a coma and failed to recover for several hours after C-section surgery, finally came out of the coma after hearing her newborn daughter cry.
Cawley, from Concord in North Carolina, had an emergency C-section about a year ago but failed to recover from anesthesia for hours after surgery. She fell into a coma due to a blood clot that broke loose during surgery, according got Fox 8.
Her husband, Jeremy, 35, recalls a deep sense of despair standing at his 23-year-old wife’s bedside in the hospital intensive care unit, watching various efforts to revive her fail.
At a point, doctors told Jeremy there was nothing much they could to help his wife.
“The doctors had done all they could and it was clear, they absolutely thought they were losing her at this point,” Jeremy told People.
But while doctors struggled to revive Shelly, her newborn, Rylan, was doing fine, sleeping peacefully in another ward of the same hospital.
But just as doctors were despairing of reviving Shelly, Nurse Ashley Manus at the Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast came up with a suggestion that must have seemed to doctors at the time dubious.
But thanks to the fact that Manus believed in the hospital’s promotion of the idea of mom and baby bonding through skin-to-skin contact. She suggested that Shelly might come around if she heard her baby cry.
“We’re a big proponent of skin-to-skin [contact]. We believe it has great benefits for the mom and the baby, and we just thought it can’t hurt, might as well give it a try.”
And thanks also to the fact that other nurses supported and assisted when Manus stripped the newborn and put her against the bare chest of her unconscious mother.
Manus said, “I was hoping somewhere deep down, Shelly was still there and could feel her baby, hear her baby and her mother’s instincts would come out and she would realize, ‘This is where I need to be.'”
But the baby was doing fine and so comfortable a week after the C-section that almost as soon as she was placed against her mother’s chest she fell asleep without making a fuss.
According to Jeremy, he and the nurses had to make Rylan cry with gentle tickles and pinches. After 10 minutes of effort, the laid-back baby lost her cool and let out a lusty bawl.
Manus said Shelly responded to Rylan’s cry almost immediately.
“We could see a spike in her vitals on the monitor. We knew that somewhere in there she was hearing her baby. Rylan saved her mom’s life.
“It’s a complete miracle. There no other words to describe it.”
Jeremy, choked with emotion, also recalled the moment, “It was the crying that got Shelly going again, got her fighting again. I got my wife back.”
After the first stirrings, it took a week before Shelly recovered fully from the coma and was able to hold her baby and nurse her.
The mother and baby were finally discharged from the hospital, and remarkably, Shelly suffered no after-effects of her close brush with death.
A year after the miraculous incident, the family celebrated baby Rylan’s first birthday with friends and family.
“I just look at her now and think of the amazing bond we have. I can tell her when she grows up that she saved my life,” Shelly said.
[Images: Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast via People; Cawley Family]