.- A Catholic man has committed to keeping his 26-year-old pregnant wife alive on life support in hopes that their baby will survive.
Susan Torres, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, suffered a debilitating stroke May 7 due to an undiagnosed brain tumor. Doctors told her husband, Jason Torres, that Susan's brain functions have stopped, but the baby, at 21-weeks gestation, seems to be thriving.
Susan had been treated for melanoma as a teenager and had been cancer-free for nearly nine years. On May 7, Torres learned that the cancer had attacked Susan’s brain.
If Susan can live another month, and the cancer stays away from her uterus, the baby could be delivered and have a chance at life, Torres told USA Today. He says he has no doubt that this is what his wife would have wanted.
Torres told USA Today that he hopes Susan and the baby will reach the 30-week mark, when the baby can be delivered with few health risks and have a very good chance at survival. The minimal target, however, is 25 weeks gestation, when babies can survive but with a heightened risk of brain damage and other problems.
Torres, a faithful Catholic, is garnering his strength from his relationship with God, his family and his faith community, but he admits to to being angry with God during this difficult time.
The 26-year-old commercial printing salesman has quit his job so that he can be by his wife’s bedside full time. Torres told USA Today that after the baby is born, Susan will receive last rites, and she will be allowed to die.
The couple met during their studies at the University of Dallas, a Catholic liberal arts college. Susan became a Catholic during their senior year, and they were married in May 2002, one year after graduation. They have a two-year-old, Peter.
USA Today reported that since 1977, at least nine comatose women have given birth in the United States.