A mom awakens from a coma doctors feared was irreversible, after hearing her newborn cry. Turns out skin-to-skin contact does more than just help the baby.
Need proof of the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child? Meet North Carolina mom Shelly Cawley, who, last year, fell into a coma during an emergency C-section to deliver her daughter, Rylan. Doctors, and even her own husband, feared she might not wake up; that is, until she heard her newborn baby cry.
Cawley recalls the moments before her operation: "I clearly remember lying on the stretcher to take me back to the operating room, and I was crying. I was telling the doctors I was scared that I wasn't going to wake up from my surgery."
The new mom's deepest fear was realized when, during the procedure, a blood clot in her leg broke loose, sending her into a comatose state. Doctors tried everything to reverse it, to no avail.
"She had a lot of fluid in her lungs. They were having trouble getting oxygen to her brain; they were having trouble with her blood pressure up. And it just seemed as if she was done fighting," Jeremy Cawley told WCNC about his wife's dire medical condition following the birth.
Thankfully baby Rylan was healthy and in fact, would turn out to be her mother's salvation.
Nurse Ashley Manus explained: "We're a big proponent of skin-to-skin [contact]. We believe it has great benefits for the mom and the baby." Manus says she was hoping by allowing Cawley to feel and hear her baby, her maternal instincts would kick in, and give her a reason to fight, and live.
Adorably, at first when the baby was placed on her mother, she fell sound asleep. Rylan's dad says she was difficult to rouse. "We tickled her, we even pinched her. It took 10 minutes, and then she let out a wail."
Immediately, Cawley's vitals spiked. A week later, she came out of her coma completely, and now believes hearing her little one's cries is what spurred her recovery.
Last week the grateful mom took to Facebook to share her incredible story, writing:
"As the night comes to a close, I reflect on my day and how different it was than at the same time a year ago. What a difference a year makes! Last year I was fighting for my life, and this year I have a 1 year old who is thriving, and I am back in nursing school doing what I love. Can't wait to discover what God has planned for my life, and to just enjoy the ride on the way there!"
We know no matter what, Cawley's future includes an unshakable connection to her daughter Rylan.