A 40-year-old woman who had been in a coma for the last 22 weeks of her pregnancy has given birth to a healthy baby boy--a world first.
"Given the mother's age ... and the completely normal state of the child, this case is extraordinary in the scientific world and very pleasing," said Matthias Beckmann from the University Clinic in Erlangen, southern Germany.
Only around 25 cases of brain death or coma during pregnancy have been made public since the 1970s and they tend to end in miscarriages or deformed babies, the clinic said.
However, doctors said they had "almost no hope" for the mother who has suffered huge heart and brain damage after a heart attack that pushed her into a coma.
The child, now 18 months, is in a home after his father decided he was unable to care for him as he had to travel often for his job.