A pregnant woman who collapsed due to heart failure in February 2013 miraculously came back to life after her baby was delivered (video below).
Erica Nigrelli, 32, an English teacher at Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas, was 36 weeks pregnant when she passed out at school, CNN reported in May 2013.
Erica had reportedly just walked into a coworker's classroom when she suddenly felt faint. The woman put both hands on a table to steady herself but then collapsed.
"I put my head down and I essentially just passed out," she told Click2Houston.
Three staff members at the school, including the nurse, her assistant and an athletic trainer, immediately sprang into action to try to save Erica's life. They performed CPR and used a defribrilator to get her heart beating again.
Students in the classroom ran out yelling for help, and Nathan Nigrelli, Erica's husband who also taught at the school, heard the commotion and hurried into the room.
By the time paramedics arrived and rushed the woman to the hospital, her heart was no longer beating. Doctors delivered her baby daughter, Elayna, three weeks early via emergency cesarean section in what they believed was a postmortem delivery.
When they turned back to Erica after delivering her child, however, they discovered that her heart had started beating again.
Erica spent several weeks in the intensive care unit, during which she was in a medically-induced coma for five days. Her baby was also treated in an intensive care unit at a different hospital for two weeks. The child was finally taken off oxygen when she was 3 months old and weighed about 9 pounds, according to Click2Houston.
Doctors said Erica was suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken and makes it more difficult to pump blood.
"Nine times out of ten most people die from the initial collapse," Erica told Click2Houston. "It was literally a ticking time bomb, it just happened when I was 36 weeks pregnant."
The three staff members at Elkins High School who helped save Erica's life after she collapsed were honored at a Missouri City council meeting in May 2013.
"Thankful is not a strong enough word for what they've done for us," Erica said.