.- Susan Torres, a brain-dead woman who was kept alive for almost three months to give her unborn baby time to develop has given birth to a girl two months premature.
The baby is being monitored at the neo-natal intensive care unit at a hospital in Arlington, Virginia.
Torres, a devout Catholic, suffered a stroke on 7 May after an undiagnosed cancer spread to her brain. Doctors said she was brain dead but they offered to keep her alive for the sake of the baby.
She was four months pregnant with her second child. The baby, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, was delivered by Caesarean section at a Virginia hospital on Tuesday and weighed 800g (1lb, 13oz).
On Wednesday, the Torres family released a statement saying that "earlier this morning, after a brief goodbye with her husband, parents, and other family members, and after receiving the last sacraments of the Catholic Church, Susan Michelle Rollin Torres passed away after the machines, which sustained her life for the past 12 weeks. She was 26 years old."
"This is obviously a bittersweet time for our family," says the statement. "We are overjoyed at the birth of Baby Susan and deeply grieved at the loss of her mother. From the beginning, we knew that two things would get us through to the baby's birth: God's providence and Susan's determination. Susan was always the toughest person in that ICU room. Her passing is a testament to the truth that human life is a gift from God and that children are always to be fought for, even if life requires-as it did of Susan-the last full measure of devotion.
The family especially gave thanks "the many thousands of people who have taken this story to heart, donated to the Susan M. Torres Fund, and most especially, sent us their prayers and best wishes. This family has literally been lifted up in prayer, and I can never express adequately our gratitude for the prayers and support we have received from people all over the globe."