The "miracle baby" who was born in the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, only to be mistaken for dead and stun the medical staff by spontaneously breathing hours later, was able to hang on to life for less than 24 hours.
Sadly, the daughter of Ali and Phaiza Mardov, from the village of Kfar Yassif, was pronounced dead at 5:15 am Tuesday, in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.
The unusual turn of events began on Monday morning, when Phaiza, who was into the 23rd week of her pregnancy, arrived in the hospital's emergency room with severe abdominal pains and bleeding.
Tests ran by her physicians discovered that there was no fetal heartbeat, leading the medical team to order a second-trimester termination procedure. Tests done on the preemie after the procedure confirmed she was stillborn.
According to hospital procedures, the body was then taken to the cryogenic laboratory. About five hours later, as her father came to claim the body, the unbelievable seemed to happen, as the infant began showing spontaneous signs of breathing. She was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit, but to no avail.
The Mardovs described what went on during Phaiza's hospitalization as a failure, accusing the medical team of unnecessarily endangering their daughter's life.
According to Phaiza herself, while she suffered from bleeding at the time she was admitted to the hospital, the tests did not indicate anything was wrong with the baby, and she was admitted for monitoring only, going into spontaneous – though premature – labor, several hours after that.
Didn't make it through the night. Preemie (Photo: Gil Nechushtan)
"The doctors told us she lost her pulse again this morning," said Ali Mardov. "We were both next to her and you could she was really gone this time. You can't imagine what we're going through."
The Health Ministry has launched an official investigation of the case. The hospital's administration released a statement Tuesday morning, saying they were offering the family their condolences and will now await the ministry's commission of inquiry's report.
Dr. Moshe Daniel, deputy chief of staff at the Nahariya hospital, told Ynet that the infant's death was pronounced only after all the data from the various monitors she was on was compiled – atop of the hospital's standard procedures in such cases.
"The medical team did everything in its power to save this baby, but unfortunately, a premature baby in the 23-week-old pregnancy has very little chance of surviving," said Dr. Daniel.
"All we can do now is offer the family our deepest condolences and wait for the Health Ministry's report. We still don't know what happened."