Woman dies, has baby, comes back to life

Published On: May 23 2013 07:35:23 AM HST

Erica Nigrelli, whose husband Nathan is from Salem, technically died, gave birth and then was brought back to life.

Erica Nigrelli, 32, who is an English teacher at Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas, collapsed in a co-worker's classroom when she was 36 weeks pregnant.

"Apparently I told her 'I feel very faint,' and I put my head down and essentially just passed out," she said.

Erica's husband, Nathan, is also a teacher at Elkins.

"I opened the door and walked in and Erica was lying on the floor," he said.

Erica's heart had stopped.

Co-workers started CPR and used a defibrillator to get try to get her heart working again.

They kept her alive until paramedics arrived and rushed her to the hospital, where doctors delivered baby Elayna by emergency caesarean section.

It was technically a postmortem delivery because Erica's heart wasn't beating.

"There were two lives that were hanging in the balance the whole time," Nathan said, later learning that his wife had an undetected heart defect.

Three-month-old Elayna now weighs 9 pounds. Doctors said she's growing and thriving.

"She's just a baby, a normal baby," said Erica, who now has a pacemaker that should allow her to see Elayna grow up.


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