A couple from Kafr Yasif in the Galilee received the shock of their lives Monday when the wife's miscarried 610-gram fetus, which had been declared dead five hours earlier, was found to be breathing.
The baby girl, born during the 23rd week of gestation, still has an uncertain future. Hospital spokesman Ziv Farber said that any premature infant of that weight and age had only a 10 percent chance for survival. But five years ago, he added, “we had a baby weighing only 580 grams, and she survived.”
The 26-year-old mother and her husband have a five-year-old son at home. When she gave birth after going into premature labor at the hospital, the doctor on the scene pronounced it dead and it was taken to the morgue.
The father, Ali Majdub, told Channel 2 that his wife realized the child was alive after asking to see her dead daughter one last time.
“When we unwrapped the baby to see her, she realized it was moving. I began screaming and ran with it toward the doctors,” he said.
She was then rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, where doctors are fighting for her life.
“I was in shock,” the mother told Channel 2 last night. “I thought I wasn't hearing it right when they said she was still alive.”
Dr. Moshe Daniel, the hospital's deputy director, said that in his 35 years as a physician, he had “never heard of such a case. It was like a medical miracle.”
The hospital informed the Health Ministry, which will now decide whether to set up an internal or external investigating committee. Daniel speculated that the cooling effect of the morgue slowed the infant's metabolism, causing her oxygen consumption to be very low. There have been rare cases of people who nearly froze under snow “coming back to life,” but there have been no reports of babies doing so.