Texas woman dies, gives birth, comes back to life - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Texas woman dies, gives birth, comes back to life

Posted: Updated:

Three-month-old Elayna Nigrelli has redefined what it means to be a miracle baby. She was born while her mother was technically dead.

In February, Erica Nigrelli was teaching at a high school in Missouri City, Texas, when she walked into a co-worker's classroom.

Nigrelli said she felt faint, placed her hands on a table to steady herself and then passed out.

Three teachers immediately grabbed a defibrillator and also began performing CPR. Kids in the classroom ran out, yelling for help.

Nigrelli's husband, Nathan, also a teacher, was just two doors down. He rushed into the room.

"Erica was lying on the floor, she was foaming and making gurgling sounds and just staring up," he told CNN affiliate KPRC.

He called 911.

"My wife is pregnant," he said, his breath heavy with panic. "She's having a seizure! The baby's due in three weeks!"

"Oh my God!" the 911 operator exclaimed.

By the time paramedics rushed the 32-year-old to the hospital, doctors could not find a pulse. Her heart had stopped.

Doctors delivered the baby by emergency cesarean section.

Technically, it was a postmortem delivery because Erica's heart was not beating.

But then something remarkable happened. The doctors turned to Erica, and soon her heart started beating again.

Over the next five days, she remained in a medically induced coma, she told CNN, and doctors diagnosed her with a heart defect she didn't know she had -- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The condition causes the heart muscle to thicken. The thickening can make it more difficult for blood to leave the heart, forcing it to work harder to pump blood.

Baby Elayna was in the intensive care unit for two weeks.

On Friday, the couple appeared with her on CNN's "Early Start," with Elayna on Mom's lap, sucking on a purple pacifier. She weighs 8 pounds and is healthy.

"We feel great," Nathan Nigrelli said. "We have a wonderful baby. My wife is back to 100 percent.

The baby hasn't shown any signs of trouble but is still on oxygen. The child will undergo therapy soon, but by all accounts her recovery looks to be on track and she'll be fine.

Erica Nigrelli believes that God was protecting her. She told CNN that she has a memory of being in the ambulance. "I remember being bounced up," she said. And she remembers seeing sunlight.

When she came to in the hospital, she remembers the doctors telling her, "You have your baby. She is in the hospital."

She saw Elayna three weeks after she was born.

The two joked that if Elayna ever gets out of line, all her parents have to do is remind their daughter what they went through to bring her into the world.

"I have got, like, the best ammunition for the rest of her life," Erica Nigrelli laughed. "She can never do anything wrong."

  • NewsMore>>

  • Hillsborough deputies identify body found

    Hillsborough deputies identify body found

    Sunday, September 14 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-09-15 01:12:14 GMT
    Octavio Reyes' family membersOctavio Reyes' family members
    When Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies told Rosario Reyes her husband was dead, her first thought was "How will I explain this to my youngest children.""What am I going to tell them, when their dad is not coming around," Rosario Reyes said. "What am I going to tell them?" "Your dad is not coming around, because somebody did something to him."Octavio Reyes, 36, of Gibsonton, leaves behind six children, the youngest is 4 years old. ...
    When Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies told Rosario Reyes her husband was dead, her first thought was "How will I explain this to my youngest children.""What am I going to tell them, when their dad is not coming around," Rosario Reyes said. "What am I going to tell them?" "Your dad is not coming around, because somebody did something to him."Octavio Reyes, 36, of Gibsonton, leaves behind six children, the youngest is 4 years old. ...
  • Police searching for missing Tarpon Springs woman

    Police searching for missing Tarpon Springs woman

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:35 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:35:57 GMT
    The Tarpon Springs Police Department has issued a Silver Alert for Ella Jones Cone. Cone, 82, was last seen Sunday morning driving a blue 2006 Saturn Ion with Florida tag number C025PZ She was seen in the area of Church on the Bayou, 409 Whitcomb Blvd., at about 10 a.m. when she dropped the registered owner, Kenneth Staack, off at church. ...
    The Tarpon Springs Police Department has issued a Silver Alert for Ella Jones Cone. Cone, 82, was last seen Sunday morning driving a blue 2006 Saturn Ion with Florida tag number C025PZ She was seen in the area of Church on the Bayou, 409 Whitcomb Blvd., at about 10 a.m. when she dropped the registered owner, Kenneth Staack, off at church. ...
  • HCSO: Remains in Ruskin identified as Octavio Reyes

    HCSO: Remains in Ruskin identified as Octavio Reyes

    Sunday, September 14 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-09-14 19:49:39 GMT
    The remains were discovered on Saturday afternoon near the Little Manatee River. The remains were discovered on Saturday afternoon near the Little Manatee River.
    Crime scene technicians with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office were back in Ruskin Sunday to collect evidence where a body was located near the Little Manatee River.Saturday afternoon deputies discovered the remains of an unknown subject in a wooded area off US Highway 41.
    Crime scene technicians with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office were back in Ruskin Sunday to collect evidence where a body was located near the Little Manatee River.Saturday afternoon deputies discovered the remains of an unknown subject in a wooded area off US Highway 41.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.