Analía Bouter, from Fontana, Argentina, said she insisted on seeing the body of her daughter, born three months prematurely, to say goodbye to her properly and was taken to the morgue by staff at the Perrando Hospital in Chaco province the north of the country. The baby was apparently taken directly to the morgue after being declared dead.
But only 12 hours after her baby was pronounced dead by doctors last Tuesday morning, Mrs Bouter found her breathing in one of the morgue’s drawers.
Mrs Bouter told Argentine television that she thought she was hallucinating when she opened the tiny coffin and found the infant still breathing. She said the baby let out a whimper as if she was waking up from a nap.
“I went with Fabián, my husband, at around 9pm to see her body,” Mrs Bouter said.
“We opened the drawer and I touched her hand. I felt her look at me and when I saw her alive I fell to my knees. Then suddenly she let out a cry. She was freezing in there.”
Mrs Bouter said doctors told her that “nobody knows how she could have survived 12 hours in a refrigerated room.”
Her husband, who had already taken steps to obtain a death certificate, had asked to see his daughter before she was taken to the morgue, but doctors told him the drawer had already been shut and that he would have to wait.
“I folded back the blanket and we saw her hands moving. I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless,” he said.
A morgue worker quickly picked up the girl and confirmed she was alive. Then, Mrs Bouter’s brother grabbed the baby and ran to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, shouting for help.
The baby was so cold, Mrs Bouter said, that “it was like carrying a bottle of ice.”
The young couple have named their daughter, who is now recovering in hospital, Luz Milagro, which translates as Light Miracle.
“Luz is a miracle,” Mrs Bouter said. “If we had left it to go and see her another day, she may not have held on.”
Luz was born prematurely on April 3 after only six months of pregnancy. Doctors said she was born without vital signs. One week on, Luz is said to be improving, although health officials said that like any baby born three months prematurely, she has a 10 per cent chance of survival.
Mrs Bouter said she is still seeking answers about what happened. She said she had given birth normally to four other children and did not know why she was given general anesthetic She also says she does not know why she was not allowed to see her baby before it was put into a coffin. The family now plan to sue the staff at the hospital.
Rafael Sabatinelli, secretary of health, called the events a “disgrace” and has opened an investigation. Five medical professionals have been suspended. The health ministry later added that the couple were receiving psychological and financial assistance.
José Luis Meiriño, director of the hospital, said: “We work under strict protocols, but there’s no explanation for this.”
taken from the Telegraph
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