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.”

shelly 2

“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.”

Amazing story!

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  • Such an amazing story with a truly happy ending. Thanks for posting it.


  • What an amazing story.
    A terrifying journey for poor Dad but now he has his family complete.
    Hoping the future is smooth sailing with lots of happy memories!


  • Oh wow, this had me in tears. So glad it had a happy ending!


  • What a lovely story with a happy ending.


  • this is so incredible to hear. what an amazing bond and love


  • Thank God this story ended in this amazing way ! How beautiful that skin contact has this wonderful and powerful effect. And how strong is the bond between mum and child ! Beautiful !!


  • An incredible story. A brilliant idea that worked a miracle.
    Yes, some years ago a baby was declared stillborn. None of the staff could hear a heartbeat or find a pulse. Them Mum refused to give them the baby. After showing signs of movement they were told it was a normal event with a dead baby. However she still refused to give up. After some time the baby opened his / her eyes so the Dad called the staff who couldn’t beleieve their eyes or ears. They rushed the baby to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and gave intensive treatment. Awhile later they published the story in a magazine and included a photo of their beautiful baby.


  • Wow, how amazing is that. I’m so happy for them


  • What a sweet story. So precious when the little girl cries and they could see the mother reaction in the monitor. I’m glad this story had a happy ending! :-)


  • Absolutely amazing! What an extra special little girl x


  • What a lovely story for when she’s older.


  • What an amazing story. Mothers and children really do have a special bond.


  • This is such a touching story. Medical science can go so far, but the bond between parent and child is incredibly powerful. I’ve heard of skin to skin contact after birth saving babies. Thankfully they thought to try this for Shelly also. Best of luck to this beautiful family.


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