Woman Wakes From Coma, Gives Birth to Healthy Girl

Beth Greenfield
·Senior Editor
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Angel and his daughter, Angel. Photo by Angel Quiles/Facebook.

Jenny Quiles, a pregnant Florida woman who fell into a coma after being hit by a tow truck earlier this month, awoke on Wednesday to gave birth to a healthy baby girl via Caesarean section.

“The baby is great, she’s alert, she weighs six pounds,” Jenny’s husband, Angel, tells Yahoo Parenting of his new daughter, Angel Noemi, who is in the neonatal intensive care unit because she was born a month and a half premature. While Jenny, 36, remains awake and alert, she’s still in critical condition. “We don’t know yet how bad the damage is,” explains Angel, 35. “It’s going to be a slow process. Right now it’s like she’s an innocent child who doesn’t really know what’s going on.”

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Jenny, an accountant, was crossing a street in St. Petersburg on her way to a doctor’s appointment on October 15 when she was hit by the tow truck. She was taken to the local Bayfront Hospital, where she has remained in intensive care.

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Angel and Jenny in the hospital. Photo courtesy of Angel Quiles/Go Fund Me.

Physician Jennifer Gilby, the Quiles’ obstetrician, told the St. Petersburg Tribune that the last two weeks have been very emotional. “Fortunately there have been no major complications in [the mother’s] health that have put the baby at risk,” she said. ”It’s a beautiful success story that we can bring this baby into the world, and hopefully help mom improve and get better.”

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Angel, a certified medical assistant, says he worked with hospital staff to gain permission for Jenny to hold her new infant for the first time on Friday night. “I want to see if it will snap her out of it, mentally,” he says. “I think it’s worth a shot.” Although he’s been dealing with the worry of his wife’s touch-and-go situation, the high emotional state of becoming a first-time father, and the piling-up medical bills, Angel says he’s doing well. “I’m just tired, very tired. But I’m in good spirits,” he says, owing it to the birth of his daughter. “How can I not be in good spirits with this new blessing in my life?”

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Jenny and Angel in happier times. Photo by Angel Quiles/Facebook.

Because the Quiles family does not have health insurance, Angel has set up a Go Fund Me page to help them get by until, hopefully, insurance payments from the driver of the tow truck come through in a settlement. The fundraising site has already brought in more than $9,300 for Jenny’s care, along with a steady stream of messages from well wishers around the country, some of whom have offered donations of baby clothes and diapers, in addition to many prayers. “It’s been a blessing for me,” Angel says of everyone’s generosity.

Although waking from a coma to give birth is rare — as is birthing a baby while still in a coma, for that matter — it does happen from time to time. In May, a California woman birthed a baby girl even while remaining in the brain tumor–induced coma she’d been in since March. Several years ago, Chastity Cooper of Kentucky became comatose after surviving a car accident at two weeks pregnant; she remained in her coma throughout her pregnancy, and even while she gave birth vaginally to a healthy daughter.

According to “Coma in the Pregnant Patient,” a 2011 report by John Hopkins professor of neurology Dr. Peter Kaplan, published in the journal Neurologic Clinics, traffic accidents account for up to 3,900 fetal losses each year, making them the leading cause, with other trauma, of non-obstetric maternal coma and mortality in the U.S. “Obstetric consequences include premature delivery, higher rate of abruption, and low birth weight at delivery,” Kaplan writes. “Fetal outcome depends on gestational age rather than injury.…Management largely follows the pathway used for non-pregnant patients.”

For now, the Quiles family is looking forward, with a baby shower planned for Nov. 7.