Texas woman dies, gives birth, comes back to life - WRBL

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>>

  • Automated car to take Scott for ride

    Automated car to take Scott for ride

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:27:00 GMT
    An automated car will take Florida Governor Rick Scott for a ride Monday, as Audi tries to sell the state on its latest technology.
    An automated car will take Florida Governor Rick Scott for a ride Monday, as Audi tries to sell the state on its latest technology.
  • Woman killed by stray bullet in Manatee

    Woman killed by stray bullet in Manatee

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:05 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:05:40 GMT
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where one woman was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where one woman was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Small plane crash on Fla. beach: 1 dead, 1 injured

    Small plane crash on Fla. beach: 1 dead, 1 injured

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:39 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:39:23 GMT
    A father was killed and his 9-year-old daughter critically injured Sunday while walking along a Florida beach when a small plane crash landed on the Gulf Coast only feet from the surf, authorities said.
    A father was killed and his 9-year-old daughter critically injured Sunday while walking along a Florida beach when a small plane crash landed on the Gulf Coast only feet from the surf, authorities said.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 16 Old Wives' Tales We've All Heard

    16 Old Wives' Tales We've All Heard

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 2:11 PM EDT2014-07-16 18:11:56 GMT
    Here are some of the common old wives' tales that we still hear today.
    Here are some of the common old wives' tales that we still hear today.
  • PHOTOS: Savannah Woman Celebrates her 105th Birthday

    PHOTOS: Savannah Woman Celebrates her 105th Birthday

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:11 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:11:27 GMT
    On Friday, Mrs. Isabel Hansen Coons, celebrated her 105th birthday with a big bash at Summer Breeze Senior Living on Wilmington Island.Mrs. Coons was born in 1909 and has been a resident of Savannah since 1986. Staff at Summer Breeze Senior Living say she is spirited, competitive and full off insightful advice. They add that Mrs. Coons attributes her longevity to 'moderation.'Happy Birthday Mrs. Coons!
    On Friday, Mrs. Isabel Hansen Coons, celebrated her 105th birthday with a big bash at Summer Breeze Senior Living on Wilmington Island.Mrs. Coons was born in 1909 and has been a resident of Savannah since 1986. Staff at Summer Breeze Senior Living say she is spirited, competitive and full off insightful advice. They add that Mrs. Coons attributes her longevity to 'moderation.'Happy Birthday Mrs. Coons!
  • VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    VIDEO: Intense gator battle at Odessa golf course

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:56:27 GMT
    YouTube imageYouTube image
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
    An amazing video of two big gators locked in an intense fight might have you wondering how something so dangerous could happen at a golf course. A golfer shot the video using a cell phone
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

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