The Upbeat

Baby delivered after pregnant woman’s heart temporarily stopped

The Upbeat

View photo

Defibrillator sign (file photo via Thinkstock)

Defibrillator sign (file photo via Thinkstock)

Talk about the miracle of birth.

After Erica Nigrelli's heart stopped beating, the pregnant teacher's co-workers used CPR and a defibrillator to get the heart pumping again, reports.

Nigrelli was rushed to the hospital where doctors performed an emergency delivery of baby girl Elayna.


The school nurse, her assistant and the athletic trainer started CPR and used a defibrillator to get her heart beating again. They kept the 32-year-old teacher alive until paramedics arrived and rushed her to the hospital. Doctors delivered the baby by emergency C-section one month early. Technically, it was a postmortem delivery because Erica's heart was not beating.

Elayna is now three months old and weighs nine pounds. Doctors told that she may go off oxygen as early as next week. Erica was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, according to Mayo Clinic.

Erica told that she had no idea she suffered from the condition.

"Nine times out of ten most people die from the initial collapse," she said. "It was literally a ticking time bomb, it just happened when I was 36 weeks pregnant."

View Comments (32)