Though life is often fraught with tragedy, sometimes we are lucky enough to see the miracles that result. One such story is that of Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, who suffered a stroke while nine weeks pregnant. Her family mourned her terribly, but what doctors discovered shortly after pronouncing her brain dead is nothing short of amazing.
Frankielen had called her husband one day while he was driving to work, telling him to come home because she was having extreme pain in her neck and felt like she was going to collapse. Doctors later diagnosed her with a cerebral hemorrhage.
The staff of the hospital, Nosso Senhora do Rocio, discovered that while the woman was brain dead, the unborn 9-week old embryos she had been carrying were still alive! They had thought the pregnancy would ultimately be lost, but Frankielen’s organs were still functioning and supporting the womb, and the babies.
Said her doctor, Dalton Rivabem, “We did an ultrasound on the embryos thinking they would be failing in the womb, but to our surprise they were clinging to life. Frankielen’s organs were all intact and working as if she was still with us. We took the decision to keep her alive to save her unborn children, and every day we watched them grow normally.”
For 123 days, the hospital staff monitored the twins, decorated Frankielen’s room, even sung to the unborn babies. The twins were born around that time via C-section.
One new baby boy and one new baby girl were welcomed into the world.
Frankielen’s mother considers the babies a true miracle. “I’m so proud of my daughter. It’s been hard losing her, but she was a warrior right until the end, protecting her beautiful children and giving them life until the day she finally died,” she said.
Her husband, Muriel Padilha, said he often begs God to return his wife to him, but knows that she would want him to be strong and move on to his life as a father.
After giving birth, Frankielen was allowed to pass away peacefully. Her organs were donated to save the lives of others. She was given a proper burial and her family continues to honor her life as they watch her darling children grow. Father Muriel is also raising their older daughter, Isa Beatriz.