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A 34-year-old Colorado woman died shortly after giving birth to what doctors described as a 7-pound, 4-ounce miracle baby.
While in labor on Nov. 3, doctors discovered Karisa Bugal — who was already the mother of a young daughter named Mallory — had an extremely rare and often deadly condition called Amniotic Fluid Embolism,
The condition causes a “catastrophic shutdown of all the organs,” Dr. Kelly Gerow told CNN affiliate KUSA.
It is seen in about 1 out of every 80,000 births, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family.
Wes Bugal knew his wife’s condition was serious, but he said that “deep down” he “wanted to keep the faith.”
Doctors rushed Karisa Bugal to the delivery room to perform an emergency cesarean section, knowing it was possible they could lose baby Declan, the television station reported.
As the baby’s heart rate started to dip, his mother made a critical decision: to go under right away. The option was the best for her son, but not for her, according to the CNN affiliate.
“Her other option would have been to decline that and stay awake for her surgery, but by the time we would have put in a spine or something, it’s possible that Declan would not have made it,” Gerow said.
Ulimately, Karisa Bugal chose to save her son’s life, even though it cost the mother her own.
Declan Bugal was born on Nov. 4.
Karisa Bugal was conscious of Declan’s birth, and even asked how big he was just before he was taken to the ICU, according to the GoFundMe page. She died a short time later.
“She came to the hospital to be a mom and she did what she was supposed to do,” Maren Oates, Karisa Bugal’s sister, told KUSA.
The GoFundMe page was set up about two weeks ago. As of Sunday night, it had raised more than $45,000.
CNN contributed to this story.