On Thursday, physicians at the University of California, San Francisco’s Medical Center executed a successful Cesarean section on a woman who was in a coma. When it was over, they handed the healthy baby boy over to his father. Since Melissa Carleton, age 39, was not conscious to experience the birth of her child, it was a bittersweet situation.
Brian Lande, age 41, got to hold his healthy baby but not celebrate with his wife. He stated that as happy as he was to get to meet his son, it was terribly painful for Melissa not to be awake with him for the birth. The child was named West Nathaniel Lande and weighed five pounds, nine ounces at the time of his arrival.
Melissa has been in a coma since March of this year but was able to carry West to full term. She had been diagnosed with having a benign brain tumor and was instructed to have an operation. However she decided to delay the operation until she gave birth.
By postponing the surgery it led to the worsening of her condition and she began to suffer from major headaches and had much trouble in walking. Her condition deteriorated to the point she experienced a seizure and had to have an emergency operation anyway.
The surgery went fine but the seizure had side effects and now Melissa is believed to be suffering from brain damage in an area which takes care of wakefulness. However physicians think Melissa is aware of her surroundings. She squeezes various family members’ hands, and has put Brian’s hand on her stomach when baby West was kicking before he was born.
Brian made sure she was the first to meet their son after West’s birth. He was put on Melissa’s chest after he was delivered. Brian stated that even though she was still under the anesthesia, West was able to smell her and also feel her skin first.
Although Melissa has been in the hospital and unable to talk since she was 27 weeks pregnant, she was able to carry her baby the full term of her pregnancy. Her father, John Farrell, spoke to the media and said that the birth was tinted with sadness because of Melissa’s condition, but the day was a great joy. He explained that his daughter had wanted to have a child for many years. He added that he was unable to explain how happy their entire family was.
He added that his daughter appeared to be the most awake he has seen her in weeks right before her C-section. He also said that Melissa reached out to Brian, took hold of his cheek and pulled him down to her and held him. Farrell said this was the first time she had hugged Brian since the trauma had occurred.
It was also explained that once Melissa recovers from her surgery, she will then be taken to a rehabilitation facility, where doctors are hopeful that she will come out of her comatose state.
Farrell also said that even though he had a daughter that is in the state that she’s in, their family had a new grandson. It was easy to happy and joyful.
On Thursday, physicians at the University of California, San Francisco’s Medical Center executed a successful Cesarean section on a woman that was in a coma.
By Kimberly Ruble
The West Side Story