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Heartbroken mother holds dead preemie baby for two hours, begs him to come back to life

A Tiffy Taffy Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too memorable, too beautiful, or too touching to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little something to your day.

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In 2010, identical twins Emily and Jamie were born at 27 weeks, just two minutes apart. However, the joy of their parents Kate and David Ogg was short-lived. Newborn Jamie had stopped breathing and he had only a few moments of life left. “They were both born in their sac but Jamie didn’t make a noise when they tore it open. Emily let out a big wail,” Kate Ogg said. “We looked over and everyone was crowding around Jamie — there were about 20 people in the room. The vibe wasn’t very good. He stopped breathing and his heartbeat was nearly gone. After 20 minutes they stopped working on him.

In these precious seconds, Kate asked to hold the baby and told her husband to come into the bed so they could embrace Jamie, skin to skin.

“I took Jamie off the doctor, asked everyone to leave. He was cold and I just wanted him to be warm. We had tried for years to have kids and I felt so guilty. I just wanted to cuddle him. I unwrapped him and ordered my husband to take his shirt off and climb into the bed.” [1]

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Cuddling Their Dying Newborn

However, after five minutes in his parents’ arms, the almost-dead baby began to breathe and move more easily.

“I know it sounds stupid but if he was still gasping there was still a sign of life so I wasn’t going to give up easily. We were trying to entice him to stay,” said Kate. “We explained his name and that he had a twin that he had to look out for and how hard we tried to have him. He suddenly gasped and then opened his eyes. He was breathing and grabbing Dave’s finger.” 

The couple ended up cuddling their newborn for over two hours, during which his eyes opened and stayed open. Soon, the parents began to wonder if Jamie was dying at all.

“I think half of us said [then], ‘What if he actually makes it?’” David said. “If he does, this would just be a miracle. The other half was saying, ‘No, he’s been declared dead, this is purely instinct.’

Read: Boy Helping Dad Give Skin-To-Skin To Premature Twins Will Make You Smile

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Kate and David Ogg cuddling their twin baby boy, Jamie, after he was pronounced dead. | Photo: facebook.com/abc7chicago
David and Kate Ogg doing skin-to-skin with their twin baby boy, Jamie, after he was pronounced dead. Image Credit: abc7 Chicago | Facebook

The couple alerted the hospital staff and convinced a doctor to check the baby again. And the doctor was shocked.

“He got a stethoscope, listened to Jamie’s chest, and just kept shaking his head. He said, ‘I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it,’” said Kate.

The twins spent the first 80 days of their life in neonatal until they were healthy enough to go home. Jamie had no medical issues since. When the twins turned five, they learned about the incredible miracle surrounding their birth. “Emily burst into tears, she was really upset and just kept on hugging Jamie,” Kate Ogg said.

Read: Pregnant Mom With 12-Hr Job Told She’s Neglecting ‘Wifely Duties,’ Tells Off Family, Asks If She’s Wrong

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David and Kate Ogg with their newborn twins. Image via Snopes

Kangaroo Care

This seemingly life-saving cuddling is also called “kangaroo care.” It’s practiced all over the world, especially in poorer countries where newborn incubators may not be available. Skin-to-skin contact with a parent warms the child like a baby kangaroo in its mom’s pouch. As Kate explains, “[The baby] comes out of you, and all of a sudden there isn’t the warmth or smell of the mother or the sound of their heartbeat. And so putting him back on my chest was as close to him being inside me where he was safe.”

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Dr. Lisa Eiland of the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City offered an explanation for this miracle, and it’s maybe thanks to Kate’s quick thinking.

“What’s important is the warmth that the mother provides and the stimulation that the baby may have received from hearing the mother’s heartbeat,” Eiland said. “So those are all things that may have helped the baby in terms of going down the path to living as opposed to the path of death.” [2]

There’s no way to know how much the kangaroo care saved the newborn, but the fact that a baby declared dead survived after cuddling his parents is unmistakable. Research has found that skin-to-skin contact between parents and newborns is extremely beneficial. It helps the baby transition into the outside world, helping them stay warm and calm. It also helps the parents and baby bond, which in turn helps the parents feel more relaxed and confident. [3]

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Keep Reading: Mom Gives Birth To Single Boy Then Four Weeks Later Doctor Finds Unborn Twins In Undiscovered Second Uterus

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Sources

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  1. “Premature ‘miracle baby’ came back to life in mother’s arms.Yahoo News. March 14, 2015
  2. “Did a Mother’s Hugs Bring Her Dead Son Back to Life?Snopes. June 6, 2013
  3. “Skin-to-Skin Contact for You & Baby.Cleveland Clinic. January 1, 2018

This article originally appeared on Secret Life of Mom in December 2021 and has been republished here with permission.

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