Mother Chooses Baby's Life Over Hers

| by Vanessa Righeimer

In order to save her newborn son, Karisa Bugal of Aurora, Colorado, was faced with an impossible decision in the delivery room. For her son Declan to live, Bugal would have to give up her own life.

On Nov. 3rd as Bugal was getting ready to deliver her son, she was given terrible news. She had a rare condition called amniotic fluid embolism, which is when the protective fluid around the baby escapes into the rest of the mother's body and leads to a catastrophic shutdown of all organs.

Bugal was given two choices, either have doctors perform surgery which would risk the baby’s life, or have them perform a cesarean which would save Declan, but likely end hers.

Dr. Kelly Gerow explained the effect the first surgery would have on Declan, saying, “Her other option would have been to decline that and stay awake for her surgery, but by the time we would have put in a spine or something, it’s possible that Declan would not have made it.”

Ultimately, Bugal chose the cesarean and Declan’s life was saved.

Declan was born on Nov. 4th while Bugal was still conscious enough to ask how big he was. She was then rushed to ICU where she passed away. Bugal died at the age of 34, leaving behind her daughter, Mallory, her son, Declan and her husband, Wes Bugal.

Wes Bugal worries about what he will tell his son when he asks about his mother.  He told 9 News , "How do I explain to him that his mom is gone giving birth to him? How do I explain when he asks, 'Where's mommy?'"

Sources Cited:, ABC 7, 9 News / Image Credit:, KUSA