In October, 2016, Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padliha, 21, was rushed to hospital by her husband, Muriel, after complaining of sharp shooting pains.
Muriel rushed his wife, then 9 weeks pregnant with twins, to the hospital. He says the last words she said to him were that he needs to accept that she won’t be coming home from the hospital.
‘Then she passed out and those were the last words she spoke to me and the last time I saw her alive,’ he says.
Doctors declared the mother dead, and told the 24-year-old father-to-be that once her unborn baby’s heartbeats stopped he would be able to bury her.
However, astonishingly, the embryos which were expected to fail within only a few days continued to live.
It was then that doctors decided to make a radical decision.
‘We took the decision to keep her alive to save her unborn children. And every day we watched them grow normally,’ said Dr Dalton Rivabem of Nosso Senhora do Rocio Hospital.
Over the next 123 days, the hospital staff cared for the babies as they grew in Frankielen’s tummy, which kept functioning on life support.
The babies, a boy and a girl. were delivered by Caesarean section and spent a further three months in incubators in hospital, but are both doing well.