On Tuesday, Susan Torres gave birth to the baby girl for whom she had hoped and prayed. Shortly thereafter, she was removed from life-support systems. Within a few short hours of her daughter’s birth, Susan Torres was dead.
The baby was delivered by a Caesarean section as doctors raced against time. The little girl was delivered at 27 weeks of gestation. Back in May, Susan Torres collapsed and was declared brain-dead. She had been treated for melanoma as a teenager. Unknown to her, the cancer had returned with a vengeance, metastasizing to her brain. She never knew that she was dying, and she never knew her baby. Nevetheless, she gave her baby life.
When the nature of Mrs. Torres’ crisis was known, her husband asked doctors to keep her alive on life support until the baby could be born. At that time, the baby was at only 12 weeks gestation. The baby and the doctors were in a race against time. In recent days, the cancer had grown so remarkably that doctors decided to deliver the baby without further delay.
According to physicians, the little girl is likely to survive, though she will remain at the hospital for several weeks. Jason Torres, Susan’s husband, was not available for comment. His brother, Justin Torres spoke for the family as he talked about the meaning of Susan’s life and death: “Her passing is a testament to the truth that human life is a gift from God,” he said, “and that children are always to be fought for, even if life requires — as it did of Susan — the last full measure of devotion.”
COVERAGE: The Washington Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch, USA Today, The Washington Examiner, and The Washington Times.