Little Lourenco Salvador is exclusively pictured above for the first time after being born by caesarean section while his tragic mum Sandra Pedro, 37, lay brain-dead and hooked to a ventilator.
According to Daily Mirror, doctors and nurses spent 107 days nurturing the unborn tot, singing soothing songs to him through his mum’s belly and even cuddling him.
Speaking for the first time, father Miguel Angelo reveals doctors were about to switch off Sandra’s life support after she suffered a devastating brain haemorrhage.
Her baby was thought to be dead too – until they found the heartbeat.
Miguel, 30, says: “She was taken in on the Saturday and they were going to pull the plug on Sunday. Then they did a test and found a heartbeat and the doctor said, ‘Never in my life have I had a dead person with a live baby inside of her’.
“I was dealing with the sadness of her death and then there is this joy inside. It was strange. I hoped my son would survive but I thought it was a long shot. It was a long time to wait, to get to 32 weeks.
“Every day I feared the phone call saying he hadn’t made it.”
Sandra collapsed in tears with a severe headache on February 20. The terrified mum-to-be, who was 17 weeks pregnant, told Miguel she thought she was going to die as he held her in his arms.
Hours later was declared brain-dead at San Jose Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal. Doctors were certain the baby would be lost too.
But in an extraordinary twist, Lourenco survived nearly four months growing in his mother’s womb and was born on June 7, weighing 5lb 3oz.
As Miguel anxiously waited for news during the delivery, he could not stop shaking. And when doctors told him he was a father, he nearly collapsed.
Speaking from his home in Alverca, close to Lisbon, Miguel says: “I couldn’t talk.I was really white and I was shaking.
“Then when I saw him I couldn’t stop smiling. He was a handful with black hair. He was lying on the side looking really relaxed.”
Miguel Angelo Faria and partner, Sandra Pedro
The new dad, on paternity leave from his job at a car parts company, cannot stop smiling as he talks about his son. But he has yet to hold him or even touch him.
“I’m not allowed to hold him yet because he is still in the incubator,” he says. “Every day I get to the maternity unit and the first thing I ask the nurses is. ‘Can I touch him today?’
“I can’t stop smiling and laughing at him especially when he’s yawning and stretching. He makes a frowny face.
“I can’t get over how big he is. I was expecting him to be quite little. He is a bit yellow but they have given him a special light. He’s always moving around and kicking his feet just like me and his mum.
“My sister thinks he is going to do amazing things because of how special his birth is.”
Describing the morning Sandra fell ill, Miguel told how they had dinner with friends and were playing cards.
“At around 5am she said, ‘I’m tired and going to bed’. Then I heard her crying in the bathroom and went to see. She said, ‘I’m going to die. My head feels like it is going to explode’.
“She was really crying hard. I put a cold towel on her head and lifted her to the bed. Our friends didn’t know what to do so I told them to call the ambulance. I kept talking to her but her eyes were rolling. When the paramedics arrived she was almost unconscious.”
The doctors carried out three examinations on Sandra before declaring her brain-dead. Funeral arrangements started before her unborn baby’s heartbeat was found.
“It was scary how close it came,” Miguel says. “Now I just want Lourenco to have a normal childhood and be happy. He is already born with a strong personality because of the battle he had to get here.”
Lourenco is expected to remain in hospital for around three weeks until he is at least 35 weeks old.
He is eating more and can be released only when he has gained 4lb in weight.