(NEW YORK) — Five doctors at Perrando Hospital in northern Argentina have been suspended for declaring a baby stillborn, nailing her inside a coffin and placing her in a refrigerated room at the hospital morgue for 12 hours, Argentine media reported.
The child, who was named Luz Milagros, or “Light Miracle,” was found inside a coffin at the hospital in Chacho, a half day after her April 3 birth.
“We were told that the baby had hypothermia and that this may have weakened her heartbeat, which would have been accentuated because [her] heart rate was already low before birth,” the baby’s father, Fabian Veron, 31, told local newspaper Clarín.
The baby’s mother, Analia Bouter, 29, who has four boys, said she never had a chance to say goodbye to her first daughter, since she’d been sedated during the birth, which came three months premature.
The grieving mother and father visited the hospital morgue 12 hours later. The couple was led into a refrigerated room and shown a tiny coffin that was nailed shut.
“[My husband] used a lever and opened the coffin,” Bouter told the local newspaper, Diario, in Chaco.
The mother, expecting to find closure, instead came face-to-face with her daughter, who was wrapped in a white blanket and looked as though she was just waking up, said the mother. The baby stretched and let out a cry.
The mother of five said she fell to her knees.
“This is a message … a miracle,” she told Diario.
Rafael Sabatinelli, the undersecretary of health for Argentina’s Chaco province, told the news site Chaco Día Por Día that his office had opened an investigation into the matter.
“Every member of the team that was involved has some responsibility, so they will have to answer for this,” he said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN