Luz Milagros (a name that translates to “Miracle’s Light”) was born three months premature. After being examined by a selection of obstetricians, gynecologists and a neonatologist, she was unanimously announced as stillborn.
Twelve hours later, her mother, Analia Bouter, sank to her knees in shock when she and her husband found their daughter breathing and whimpering, covered in ice in a freezing morgue, where she had been assigned immediately after Bouter gave birth.
The discovery was due to the parents’ serendipitous decision to have a glimpse of their child before leaving the hospital. According to Sky News, Bouter explained to the local press, “At the time of birth I don’t remember much because I was put to sleep…Rather, they never showed me the baby,” and so wanted to bid farewell to her daughter, who had been taken directly to the morgue.
The baby’s parents entered the morgue and forced open the casket, which was nailed shut. Slowly uncovering her face, they heard her cry out, but were at first convinced that they were hallucinating. Fabian Veron, the father, described their shock to local news reporters, as told by Sky News: “My wife jumped back, like saying, ‘this must be my imagination.’”
Medical staff at the Argentinean hospital, Perrando de Resistencia, who were present at the birth have been temporarily suspended and are under investigation.
Hospital authorities are shocked about the error, and they’re also shocked that Luz survived over 12 hours in a refrigerated room, suggesting that her vital signs may have disappeared due to hypothermia. She is now recovering to good health. Jose Luis Meirino, the hospital’s director, admitted to Metro, “At the moment we have no explanation.”
The BBC reports that the undersecretary for health in the Chaco province, Rafael Sabatinelli, said the staff “will have to answer” for this bizarre oversight. Bouter is not interested in the blame game, telling Argentina’s Clarin newspaper: “The joy of knowing she’s alive is covering every other feeling.”