Shelly Cawley was close to death when a miracle happened after skin to skin with her baby girl.
Shelly was surprised when doctors told her they were going to need to perform an emergency C-section to deliver her daughter Rylan.
Rylan was delivered healthy on September 5, 2015. But Shelly suffered from a blood clot triggered during the operation which lead to her being in a coma due to the clot having clogged vital arteries.
Her husband, Jeremy, recalls the nightmare that was unfolding:
“The doctors had done everything they could. At this time, they were absolutely sure that they would lose Shelly. You are so unbelievably excited that your child is born … and in the next moment you believe you’ll have to say farewell to your wife forever. It was like being numbed.”
“We knew that skin contact from a mother to her newborn can be very helpful – so why wouldn’t work the other way around?”
They decided to take the naked baby, and lie her on the chest of the mother who was in a coma.
The nurse explains further: “I was hoping that Shelly was still in there somewhere, so she could feel her baby and her heart, to let her mother instincts wake up.”
Baby Rylan fell asleep very peacefully upon immediate contact with her mother.
“We tickled her, even gave her a couple little pinches,” tells the dad Jeremy. “It lasted 10 minutes then she gave a loud scream.”
“We saw the heart monitor flash to life. The screaming had brought Shelly back into the fight. I had my wife back!” Jeremey recalls with tears.
A week later the 23-year-old mum does indeed wake up.
“I stared at Rylan’s face and thought to myself that she was the most beautiful baby in the world,” says Shelly. “I know that every mother thinks that, but we had such a special connection after everything that happened.”
Little Rylan is now one year old. Shelly reflects on the past year: “Last year I fought for my life and this year I have a wonderful 1-year-old daughter. When she’s grown up, I’ll tell her that she saved my life.”
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